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Thread: U.S. Senator Introduces Bill To Ban Loot Boxes And Pay-To-Win Microtransactions

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  1. #1

    Default U.S. Senator Introduces Bill To Ban Loot Boxes And Pay-To-Win Microtransactions

    I think that Gemstone qualifies as a game designed with kids in mind - especially considering the absence of skinnable humanoids, draconian alteration guidelines, and heavy punishments for cursing...

    https://kotaku.com/u-s-senator-intro...pay-1834612226

    Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) today announced a bill that would ban loot boxes and pay-to-win microtransactions in “games played by minors,” a broad label that the senator says will include both games designed for kids under 18 and games “whose developers knowingly allow minor players to engage in microtransactions.”

    Hawley will introduce the bill, “The Protecting Children from Abusive Games Act,” to the U.S. Senate soon. In press materials announcing the bill, Hawley’s team brought up the Activision game Candy Crush as an egregious example of pay-to-win microtransactions thanks to its $150 “Luscious Bundle” that comes with a whole bunch of goodies. This bill will also likely apply to a host of online games that feature loot boxes and other ways in which players can spend money for real benefits.

    “When a game is designed for kids, game developers shouldn’t be allowed to monetize addiction,” Hawley said in a press release. “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.”

    Last fall, the Federal Trade Commission promised to investigate loot boxes following a letter from Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) that she wrote in the wake of 2017's string of games featuring the heavy usage of predatory microtransactions, such as Middle-earth: Shadow of War and Star Wars Battlefront II. Although some companies have pulled back on the practice, popular games like Overwatch, FIFA, and Apex Legends continue to make big money off randomized microtransactions. Many of those games are played by both adults and children.

    Hawley, 39, has become known in Washington for criticizing major tech companies Facebook and Google, often accusing them of anti-conservative bias.

    UPDATE (12:18pm): The Entertainment Software Association, the video game industry lobbyist group, sent over a statement shortly after this bill was introduced: “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.”
    Last edited by Amerek; 05-08-2019 at 03:25 PM.

  2. #2

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    Link is busted.

    Thank God too, Kotaku is fucking gross.
    Last edited by Astray; 05-08-2019 at 03:09 PM.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Astray View Post
    Link is busted.

    Thank God too, Kotaku is fucking gross.
    Fixed. Where is your God now?

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Amerek View Post
    Fixed. Where is your God now?
    Staring at cosplayers. Where's yours?!

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Astray View Post
    Link is busted.

    Thank God too, Kotaku is fucking gross.
    www.twitch.tv/3piecesofbread
    Quote Originally Posted by Back
    I am a retard. I'm disabled. I'm poor. I'm black. I'm gay. I'm transgender. I'm a woman.



    Quote Originally Posted by Androidpk View Post
    And feel free to get me banned, not going to stop my lawyer from sending Kranar a subpoena for IP information on a couple of people.

  6. Default

    I think loot boxes are a great way for kids to learn about economics.
    http://www.usdebtclock.org/

    Click the link above to see how much you owe the government.

  7. Default

    I'm sure this bill'll be killed same as the last few both in Europe and the US, but I think it brings up another important topic. There needs to be a harsh punishment for false lobbying in the name of income over common sense.

    Nobody utilizing common sense can say that game companies aren't gearing their marketing specifically towards addiction. That will be one of this generation's biggest "Wow I can't believe how stupid we were" moments on looking back. Just like the generation before ours had 50 years of "There is no proven link between cigarettes and cancer!".

    It really ought to be where if you willfully ignore clear evidence in favor of pushing another narrative in the name of profits, as cigarette manufacturers did before, and as gaming companies do now, you forfeit the rest of your life to a prison sentence. Of course, that'd sort of end a gigantic lobbying industry that affects, lobbies on behalf of or against, and permeates all aspects of life...so I'm betting they'd lobby pretty hard against that.

  8. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Stumplicker View Post
    I'm sure this bill'll be killed same as the last few both in Europe and the US, but I think it brings up another important topic. There needs to be a harsh punishment for false lobbying in the name of income over common sense.

    Nobody utilizing common sense can say that game companies aren't gearing their marketing specifically towards addiction. That will be one of this generation's biggest "Wow I can't believe how stupid we were" moments on looking back. Just like the generation before ours had 50 years of "There is no proven link between cigarettes and cancer!".

    It really ought to be where if you willfully ignore clear evidence in favor of pushing another narrative in the name of profits, as cigarette manufacturers did before, and as gaming companies do now, you forfeit the rest of your life to a prison sentence. Of course, that'd sort of end a gigantic lobbying industry that affects, lobbies on behalf of or against, and permeates all aspects of life...so I'm betting they'd lobby pretty hard against that.
    I think, but cannot tell, you are for punishing companies for features in their games that are for profit? Am I interpreting your words correctly?
    http://www.usdebtclock.org/

    Click the link above to see how much you owe the government.

  9. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Suppa Hobbit Mage View Post
    I think, but cannot tell, you are for punishing companies for features in their games that are for profit? Am I interpreting your words correctly?
    No. You are not.

  10. #10

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    You could always make the argument that a game has a certain rating and if that rating is played by anyone it's unintended for, it's not the developer or publishers fault. It's ultimately the person who bought the game that is responsible.

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