For years now, loot boxes have been the subjects of extensive morality discussion in the gaming industry. We’ve already seen legal action against the practice worldwide, but the United States has remained relatively quiet. in this area. Plain and simple, loot boxes are allowed with next to no restrictions on them. It wasn’t until late last year that the government began to look into the idea of looking into loot boxes. Now, we finally have a new step in the direction of legislation.
Josh Hawley, a Republican senator from Missouri, has proposed “The Protecting Children from Abusive Games Act” (catchy). His proposal includes plans to ban loot boxes and pay-to-win microtransactions across games “whose developers knowingly allow minor players to engage in [them]… Game developers who knowingly exploit children should face legal consequences.”
In case you haven’t been following these types of stories closely, it’s believed widely that microtransactions that involve random chance such as loot boxes should be considered gambling and kept away from children for the sake of their parents’ money, and much more importantly, to limit exposure to addictive activities. This has sparked a debate of whether or not loot boxes can technically be called gambling if the items obtained from loot boxes hold no real-world value.
It will certainly be interesting to see which way Congress goes with this sort of bill. The U.S. government is somewhat unfamiliar with video games and largely stay away from issues having to do with it. It’s nice to know that at least Josh Hawley is concerned about the well-being of children in an industry that becomes exponentially more popular every year.
Brandon is a young writer who loves going deep into games to explore meaning, purpose, and life. He believes that there’s nothing better than getting lost in a world full of characters to love and lessons to learn. He has a special place in his heart for single player games such as Mass Effect and Life Is Strange, but he also blows off some steam playing some of his favorite multiplayer games, like Paladins.