Do You Support Banning Loot Boxes in Video Games?
Do you support banning loot boxes and pay-to-win microtransactions?
by Causes | 8.8.19
Update - August 8, 2019:
- Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft have agreed to disclose the odds of obtaining premium content in loot boxes. Many video games allow players to spend actual currency to purchase virtual loot boxes that could contain valuable weapons, armor, or character outfits—or something not useful at all.
- The move will require all publishers of upcoming Switch, PlayStation, and Xbox games to reveal the chances of earning rare items in a loot a box.
- Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH), who's raised concerns about loot boxes with the FTC and Entertainment Software Rating Board, told Engadget she was " encouraged that the video game industry has taken this important step forward to improve loot box transparency.
"I'll keep working to ensure that children are protected from the predatory and addictive effects of loot boxes in video games."
Countable's original story appears below.
What’s the story?
- Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) has announced "The Protecting Children from Abusive Games Act," which would make it illegal for games played by minors to include loot boxes and pay-to-win microtransactions.
What are loot boxes?
- Many video games allow players to spend actual currency to purchase virtual loot boxes that could contain valuable weapons, armor, or character outfits.
- Because the contents of the boxes are randomly generated, players could spend $1 and get an extra-useful item or spend $100 and get something barely useful.
- Activision Blizzard – which publishes Candy Crush, Call of Duty, and Hearthstone – generated $4 billion in 2017 from these kinds of in-game transactions.
What are people saying?
- "Social media and video games prey on user addiction, siphoning our kids' attention from the real world and extracting profits from fostering compulsive habits," Hawley said in a release.
"No matter this business model's advantages to the tech industry, one thing is clear: There is no excuse for exploiting children through such practices. Game developers who knowingly exploit children should face legal consequences."
- The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) was quick to respond with a statement.
“Numerous countries, including Ireland, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom, determined that loot boxes do not constitute gambling. We look forward to sharing with the senator the tools and information the industry already provides that keeps the control of in-game spending in parents’ hands. Parents already have the ability to limit or prohibit in-game purchases with easy to use parental controls.” (via Kotaku)
What do you think?
Would you support legislation banning loot boxes and “pay-to-win” microtransactions? Take action and tell your reps, then share your thoughts below.
(Photo Credit: Belgium Gaming Commission)
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