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American senator proposes bill against loot boxes in games

Discussion in 'Frontpage news' started by Hilbert Hagedoorn, May 14, 2019.

  1. RzrTrek

    RzrTrek Ancient Guru

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    Gambling has no place in games or for players below the age of 18 and it was bound to happen as the ESRB won't do anything as long as they get money from the big corporations.
     
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  2. Aura89

    Aura89 Ancient Guru

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    I find it amazing how many people here have posted in favor of government telling private companies what can and can not be in a game when it comes to...cost. That's all this is. I don't care if it's pay-to-win, or just cosmetic, you're saying you support the government telling companies what they are allowed to make and for what costs and how they do it...what?

    Why should the government have anything to do with a product and its costs? Sure, if it deals with illegal activities, then i can understand that, but this isn't. It's harmless additions to games that you don't have to buy. The only way it becomes "harmful" is if you don't know how to control yourself and you buy so much you bankrupt yourself: That's a you problem.

    What's next? Fast food companies won't legally be able to have different price points between a regular cheese burger and an ultimate cheese burger or small fries vs large fries, it'll all have to be the same price, just because............some people want it to be?

    Don't like a game because of its pricing practices? Don't buy it. Simple, done.

    Yes, i get that this is due to the nature of loot boxes not knowing exactly what you're going to get.....specifically with children......This is no different then:

    Pokemon cards
    Sports cards
    Many collectible toys (such as hatchimals)
    Candy (Such as kinder surprise) (Yes you could argue that kinder surprise IS banned in the USA....but that literally has nothing to do with the toy being a surprise, rather because the toy is inside of candy, look it up)
    etc. etc. etc. etc. there are hundreds if not thousands of examples across the world where this exists directly for kids.

    So what, should we ban it all? Or do we not have an issue with those, because it's not something YOU are interested in and therefore it's not something that affects YOU, proving it has nothing to do with kids or not knowing exactly what you're going to get, and only having to do with the fact that YOU don't care for something and are apparently deciding if YOU don't like it noone else should have it?

    Games do not cater to YOU and should not cater to YOU and the government should not make it cater to YOU. Games should cater to what people like, and the government should not have anything to do with it. If universally gamers do not like what a developer/publisher does, then stop buying those games, stop buying into what they do, and hope that others will follow. If not, oh well, sucks for you, deal with it. That's the only way this "situation" should be dealt with, by for NOT with the government deciding to overreach. And just an FYI, i'm not some anti-government nut-job, they serve a purpose, they are very useful, THIS however, is not one of those places.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2019
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  3. Mesab67

    Mesab67 Active Member

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    Seems very straightforward to me: spending money with the sole purpose of gambling on an outcome...is....gambling. Let's add in "the adrenaline rush" when your gamble pays off, 'game' companies very, very deliberately conditioning children to get/realise an advantage over their poorer/sensible friends...addiction risk!! etc etc etc.

    The laws of most countries are pretty clear here and unless those rules are applied (e.g. age-restricted) then loot box purchasing must be removed.
     
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  4. schmidtbag

    schmidtbag Ancient Guru

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    Well, that's kind of why the bill was proposed in the first place: kids have notoriously terrible self-control, and that's largely a biological issue. The bill is focused around people under the age of 18. This is why there are so many other laws that are age-specific. To put another twist on this, it's pretty common for companies to deliberately market things to people who are prone to being addicted to whatever that product may be, for the simple reason being it's a very easy source of revenue.
    Other than that, I take your point - adults who cater to these business practices should be held accountable for their own misfortunes, and the government should have no control over it.
    Shhh stop giving people ideas...
     
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  5. D3M1G0D

    D3M1G0D Ancient Guru

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    No, they are not harmless. Loot boxes (and microtransactions) directly affect gameplay, making it a grind for those who do not pay. You only need to look at the mobile gaming space to see the consequences of such a business model - virtually every single game is a grind-fest. Battlefront II blew up the way it did largely because of the calculations showing how much you needed to grind to unlock certain characters.

    Mobile gaming is precisely why we need government intervention. Left to its own devices, this is what gaming will turn into. You say to just avoid those games but that will make no difference, as it is the whales who fund these games (they don't care if 99% don't buy, as long as the 1% keep buying). I refuse to buy loot boxes or microtransactions on principle, and yet they have proliferated like crazy regardless of my boycott.
     
  6. Aura89

    Aura89 Ancient Guru

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    I get that, but this is not the governments job, this is the parents job. For instance, how do they get the money to pay for these items? Are their parents so unable to parent they just give them the credit card? Or did the kid steal the credit card? Is it from their own job? And if its from their own job, why should anyone be able to tell them how to pay for stuff if they are making the money? And why wouldn't this also apply to other items listed above that they are able to buy?

    It's not the governments job to parent children.

    Government wants to make it illegal to buy this items under 18? Fine, ban all the items listed above as well, see how well that goes for companies and people, and lets see how much it even matters as age-locks on the internet are pointless. But don't tell companies what they can and can't do for people over 18.

    Yes, they are. Deal with it.

    Stop making peoples lack of self-control a problem for everyone else. It's a problem for them, and only them, and it's a problem for them to deal with and fix.
     
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  7. schmidtbag

    schmidtbag Ancient Guru

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    I don't disagree with most of that but those are besides the point. Those are the symptoms of the issue, but not the cause. It's not a matter of parenting. Like I said before, it's a biological issue. Kids are psychologically wired to cater to this type of impulse. Companies are VERY well aware of this and deliberately exploit it.
    It's the government's job to protect its citizens, and that can be interpreted in a pretty broad sense. As far as I'm concerned, preventing companies from deliberately taking advantage of psychological weaknesses within a specific demographic is the government doing its job. Do you think cigarettes should be legal for minors?
    Again, the bill is focusing on people under 18. If you're over 18, lootboxes are still permitted. Since 18- people a large chunk of the lootbox demographic, that might mean we finally see a decline in lootboxes in games. Frankly, I don't see any problem in companies getting penalized for this. They're doing it strictly for the sake of greed, so if such a bill doesn't go well for them, that's a good thing as far as I'm concerned. It has been proven over and over again that a game can be profitable and ethical without MTs/gambling.
    But that's not the reality. Take the car industry for example. Y'know why so many cars look pretty much the same? It's because of safety standards. Those standards exist because drivers can't put their damn phone down, or because pedestrians jaywalk, or because insurance companies don't feel like paying for an extensive medical bill. It doesn't matter if you're a good driver, YOU have to make sacrifices because everyone else is an idiot. The same thing will happen to games. As long as MT models prove to be profitable, that will (and has) become a trend regardless of your own self control.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2019
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  8. D3M1G0D

    D3M1G0D Ancient Guru

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    Lack of self control? The whales WANT to buy loot boxes - they are perfectly in control and they are perfectly happy with it. To them, there is no problem (if anything, they would have a problem with it being taken away, as they will no longer be able to buy their way to the top).

    Again, the vast majority of gamers who play freemium games do not buy loot boxes. The focus of legislation like this seems to be about children but they are not the reason why loot boxes are so popular. It is the whales, who regularly spend thousands of dollars on a game, who are responsible for the loot box plague. There is literally no other way to deal with it other than government regulation.
     
  9. Brasky

    Brasky Ancient Guru

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    I'd also like the companies to feel some pressure to stop releasing games that are 90% done and then just patching them forever. Games used to actually be produced, tested, polished, then released.
     
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  10. Mundosold

    Mundosold Active Member

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    Don't like loot boxes then don't buy games that have them. Free market does the job. The game that caused so much controversy, Battlefront 2, was a failure and EA lost money on it.
    And yes there are whales that spend $1000s to have every possible advantage in a game, even cosmetic, but who cares? It is their money. People also spend $100K+ to drive the nicest cars, or spend $10000s on their wardrobe, etc.
    Not saying I like what loot boxes (or DLC in general) has done to gaming, but it's a culture problem not a criminal one.
     
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  11. Mesab67

    Mesab67 Active Member

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    From the point of law, the critical factor here is the involvement of kids into a system which very deliberately and actively encourages them to spend money to gain a gaming advantage - an act that clearly involves critical attributes of gambling. This is where the law absolutely has to stamp a 'not for minors' onto the box. I honestly do not see what the issue here is. Laws are there to protect not just others, but yourself.

    Of course, the argument for those above this age limit is different. The gambling aspect is obviously still present. Personally, having been gaming since the 80's, though I'm always in awe of the way tech is advancing, I think gaming is being destroyed through things like micro transactions, deliberately unfinished, poorly QA tested products. I suppose though, this direct historical perspective is rapidly being lost.
     
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  12. Clouseau

    Clouseau Ancient Guru

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    All that can be said is a fool and his money are soon parted. Pay to win...who has time for those games? Games that only offer cosmetic items, who cares how one can make their character look while fragging. Pure waste. No impulse control.

    There is a person in our clan that we keep telling him he needs to show more self control. His answer is always, who cares...it is not my credit card being used. That is the issue right there. There is no curing stupid. The Senator can blow all the hot air he wants. Not going to solve a thing when the underlying issue is not even addressed.

    Do people not have self-control any longer? This is literally a black and white scenario. Instant gratification takes too long. Need something quicker. Just think it and...
     
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  13. looniam

    looniam Member Guru

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    shame on the "press" for getting it all twisted.

    A BILL
    cliff notes:
    changes age from under 13 to under 16 and allows the state's attorney general to file charges along with the FTC.
    not a damn thing about gaming, lootboxes or anything of the like . . .
    [tinfoil hat]
    its like the tech press is being intentionally misdirected.
    [/tinfoil hat]
     
  14. GamerNerves

    GamerNerves Active Member

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    I agree that governements should throughout the world ban practices like these especially with mobile games. The moral behind this is that microtransactions are often lazy and non beneficial to the customer, plus the underaged people are manipulated to buy the stuff inside the game itself. Goverment should enforce morals and this is one thing that should be intervened.

    I also agree that free market will solve this issue eventually, but just too slowly. People will sooner or later realize that they don't want to have these devilish microtransaction in their games and stop supporting them. One way is to have these big media scandals like EA has faced, but I often find them too one sided and skewing the market in a wrong way, making people think that everything EA or any company does is bad. That is morally wrong if you ask me.

    The problem with all the change in the world is people are slow to adapt, so we need sometimes government intervention to speed things up, like it or not. Some people see this as an unnecessary effort and limiting future possibilities on, as in this case, positive microtransactions, but some people think it makes life more secure and sweeps away issues that would otherwise be overcome too slowly, which is often costly. Personally I do not wish these companies to profit this way, I rather see them excelling in other ways and stop wasting time implementing scams, even if free market would take care of the problem eventually.

    Thankfully many new games are pretty much free of nasty transactions. I personally don't understand why people play games that offend them. Adult people who play games that include nasty transactions are not usually offended by them, this whole topic is about children and very young people. There are many games that don't require any further purchases to be properly enjoyed, actually most of the new AAA-titles are like that. This whole discussion that games are ruined, not fun, are monetized and limited is simply not true. There are of course examples of pretty bad models, but they are exceptions, though some of the most played games are pretty bad, which is weird.

    I'm aware that many people feel like they have to play lazy and money hungry games if their friends also play them, but I don't feel this way personally. I play only the games I want and it is possible to find playmates online for the game you like to play. There are always like minded people around and you cannot like everything your closer friends do.
     
  15. pdegan2814

    pdegan2814 New Member

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    I've got less of a problem with "pay-to-win" as I do with the gambling-like nature of "loot boxes". If I'm going to spend real-world money for in-game items, I should have the ability to buy specifically what I want. Government intervention into microtransactions in general is iffy to me, but calling random loot boxes a form of gambling does make a certain amount of sense, and restricting that kind of setup is something I can live with.

    All that being said, if these under-18 kids are using their parents' credit card in video games, the parents are the first ones who need to accept some responsibility and address their kid's use of the card.
     
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  16. Alessio1989

    Alessio1989 Maha Guru

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    Fùck off the free market, this cancer is making the videogame industry more insane than ever before, it must die.
     
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  17. Backstabak

    Backstabak Master Guru

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    Eh nice idea, but "restricting it to adults" is nothing. Porn is also restricted to adults, yet kids watch it. This will be skipped even easier with mommy's credit card info. The only way to "protect the kids" and actually limit the practice is to acknowledge it as gambling and apply the same rules and taxation on the earnings.
     
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  18. Clouseau

    Clouseau Ancient Guru

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    Acknowledging it as gambling is somewhat the right approach. We as parents have just one job; to provide our children with the tools necessary to be able to cope with and function in society. Shielding them from this very instance eliminates a teaching and learning opportunity about what gambling is and how it functions. Giving little Johnny access to credit card information to be used how and when he desires is a failure on the parent's part. Our children are either truly a part of our lives by actually spending time with them, listening to them, talking with them (not at them), or they are a side effect of what mommy and daddy like doing. This whole issue a parental issue and not anything else. By all means, let us just let the government raise our kids for us. After all, they know better than us parents how to raise our children. This is just a show case of how parents are neglecting their duty as parents period the end. Lazy parenting...there should be law that allows us to keep doing without any need to interface with our children.
     
  19. Andrew LB

    Andrew LB Maha Guru

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    It's called gambling. Buying loot boxes without knowing what is in them in advance. It's illegal for minors to gamble, and that is what this legislation is directed at.

    You mean like throwing tens of millions of people off their healthcare plans and forcing them into new governemnt approved plans that cost 3-5x more for the same coverage? Oh wait... Obama wasn't a populist.

    Or did you mean getting into a war based on faulty intelligence and then doubling down by nation building, costing taxpayers trillians of dollars? Oh wait... Bush wasn't one either.

    I got it! You must mean enacting a "free trade" agreement between Mexico, the US, and Canada where nothing coming into the US was taxed, but products going the other way did get hit with tariffs.... costing the US millions of manufacturing jobs once held by middle class taxpayers.
    Crap... Clinton wasn't a populist either. Guess that explains why all the elites in both parties backed NAFTA.


    And your complaint about democracy being flawed is the most ignorant thing ive read in a while. The United States is not a Democracy. We are a Republic. the people choose its representatives who then go to Washington and their job is to (in theory) make the best, informed decisions on our behalf. This was done specifically since the people themselves couldn't be expected to educate themselves on all topics and voting on those in national referendums like you'd see in a true democracy. There was another BIG reason why our government was setup this way. It was to prevent Mob-Rule. Each state has two representatives in the senate and the number of house members is based on population. Same goes for why we don't have a national popular vote. If we did, New York, California, and Texas would essentially control the country and the rest of the country be dammed!

    Two decades ago, a very prosperous country called Venezuela succumbed to the temptations of 'mob rule' and a man named Hugo Chavez rose to power. Once in power through democratic elections, he quickly nationalized (took control of) many industries and businesses and ushered in free healthcare, huge welfare system, redistribution of wealth, and many other policies currently being pushed by Democrat candidates for president like Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, Kamilla Harris, Beto, and Mayor Pete. Of course over time this socialist utopia became more and more corrupt, and as Margaret Thatcher once said, "the thing about socialism is eventually you run out of other peoples money". Hugo maintained power at this point by force, as most dictators do. To see where things ended up, just turn on the news. Insane hyper inflation, a starving population, and election results ignored by the dictator in power... its truly sad.
     
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  20. nevcairiel

    nevcairiel Master Guru

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    This is called a "Representative democracy", you should look it up.
     

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