Danny Clander of St. Petersburg recently tried to come to the aid of an underprivileged family, only to discover it was just an ad for a video game.
“I was playing this dumb game on my phone – you drop these fruits on top of each other and when they collide, they mix and become bigger and bigger fruits until you work your way up to watermelons, it’s stupid, whatever, I play it when I’m bored, it was free, whatever,” he said. “Anyway, I was on my phone playing it the other day and this ‘HELP US!’ message appeared on my screen.”
What he was seeing was an ad for another phone game, ‘Gardenscapes’
“There was a woman and a little girl and they were freezing,” he said. “I wanted to do something to help them. I could hear them shivering! And there was this sad piano music. It was like one of those Sarah McLaughlin commercials for dogs except it was people. Of course I wanted to help them.”
“Turned out to be just another dumb game.”
Part of the confusion came from the ad being so persistent.
“I kept hitting the ‘X’ up in the corner and it wouldn’t cancel. It would either take me to another screen or bring up the app store,” he said. “I thought, ‘wow, this is serious!'”
“But nope. Just some stupid game. I was all set to donate money to those poor people but instead, they want you to solve a puzzle by pulling pins out to make coins fall down or something. Really stupid.”
He eventually downloaded the game and plays it for at least two hours every day.