Loot boxes and microtransactions are on the target once again. The reason is that Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) has produced a bill he’s proposing that would ban these methods in games played by children. The bill is called The Protecting Children from Abusive Games Act. This comes months after the Federal Trade Commission agreed it would review loot boxes after Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) wrote a letter talking about greedy microtransactions in games.
“Social media and video games prey on user addiction, siphoning our kids’ attention from the real world and extracting profits from fostering compulsive habits. 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.
When a game is designed for kids, game developers shouldn’t be allowed to monetize addiction. And when kids play games designed for adults, they should be walled off from compulsive microtransactions. Game developers who knowingly exploit children should face legal consequences.”
This is nothing new It’s been happening for a while since 2018, Belgium claimed loot boxes were classified as gambling, but because they failed to follow the laws in regards to gambling, were considered illegal.
Meanwhile, the FTC has said it is planning to hold a workshop on August 7, 2019, to address this topic. In addition, the video game lobbyist group, Entertainment Software Association, also published the following 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.”
Well, I hate such transactions in games, what do you think?