The UK Parliament is sending a clear signal: prey series like FIFA are being noticed.  EA / Machkovech
The UK Parliament published a widespread inquiry on Thursday looking at the rise of 'immersive and addictive technologies' and what the UK government should do to recognize manipulative, dangerous, and incompatible business practices in a rapidly changing industry. The report covers a great deal: consumer tracking, cyberbullying, eports, social media, and again and more.
Included in this meteorological report is at least one completely firm reproach of the notorious practice in the gaming industry: loot. And as far as Parliament is concerned, loot boxes should be banned outright in any games aimed at minors.
"We recommend that loot that contains the element of chance should not be sold to children who play games and instead in the game credits should be earned through prizes won through playing games," says a report from Parliament . "In the absence of studies that prove that no harm is done by exposing children to gambling by purchasing loot boxes, then we believe that the precautionary principle should be applied and they are not allowed in games played by children, until the evidence proves otherwise. "
Not interested in this.
This statement follows an awkward exchange between Parliament and the Executive Director of the EA during a hearing in June. At that time, EA Vice-President for Legal and State Affairs Kerry Hopkins became a factor" "attached to game loot ̵
1; which begs players to blindly pay for a completely random item, outfit or prize. After comparing retail boxes like Kinder eggs (and never admitting that with these eggs, customers at least get a guarantee for some shock Hopkins went on to call the game boxes "pretty ethical and fun [and] pleasing to the people."
Parliament's statement on Thursday recalled this specific description by Hopkins, and then replied:
- UK Parliament: Ban all loot boxes until evidence proves they’re safe for kids Ars Technica
- UK officials call for loot boxes to be regulated like gambling Engadget
- ‘Ban kids from loot box gambling in games’ BBC News
- Call for gaming loot box ban Sky News
- Regulate loot boxes under gambling law, Parliament committee recommends Rock Paper Shotgun
- View full coverage on Google News
is apparently not up to date with the attitude of many gamers who contacted us after our evidence session, including those who vehemently rejected its packaging characteristics, not as loot boxes but as a "surprise mechanic". One gamer called the company's testimony to us a "naked false lie." Another told us that the company "marketed and referred to its systems as 'loot boxes'. "For several years and … the mechanics of the system are exactly the same, no matter what they decide to call it."
Coincidentally, much of Parliament's comment Thursday on loot boxes revolves around EA, the company’s best-selling FIFA video game series. The commentary points to EA's bullish recognition that FIFA's Best Team mode, which revolves around purely random drops of purchased cards, represents hundreds of millions of dollars in digital sales revenue. After citing EA sales figures, the report explains how the annual gaming series routinely deletes player card collections when jumping from one year to the next.
"One gamer told us that this cycle had led them to spend" almost £ 800 to £ 1000 a year on FIFA, "the report said." Another gamer told us that because the content of the package "directly affects of the game because some players are not as good as others, "this encourages people to continue to buy packages in the hope of becoming better players and therefore to perform better in the game."
The heart of this subsection the investigation can be found in a quote taken by a concerned citizen of the United Kingdom, who acknowledges and then deletes the common "only cosmetic" protection of box items in the gaming industry: "Children are particularly vulnerable because they lack the maturity to understand that these purchases are manipulative and their parents may not understand that these purchases are completely unnecessary. "
What needs to be done?
The investigation takes into account the additional scientific insight into the psychology of players attracted by loot boxes. After citing multiple studies, the study acknowledges that no clear causal link between the loot has yet been established. However, the current preponderance of evidence has at least convinced researchers that greater transparency about looting in gaming and their effective overlap with gambling as slot machines should be made clear to gaming goggles and their parents – if not used as a means of circumventing the age limits of said games in parallel with gambling
In order to defend this argument for the gambling qualities of acquiring a loot box, the study undertakes a long dive into the black market sales of virtual articles, especially tied to Counter Strike: Global Offtack . "The volume, variety and complexity of advertising opportunities for articles to exchange items in the game for money, indicates that such and circumventing the regulation as "accidental" understands the extent of this problem for some games, "the report said.
But gambling regulation of prey practices is restricted by at least one current British law. "Buying loot boxes does not meet the statutory definition of licensed gambling under the Gambling Act of 2005, as in-game items have no monetary value in the real world outside of games," the inquiry said. (This is one of the main reasons that the investigation cites so much data about those in-game items that have monetary value in the black market.) The report thus suggests that "the government must introduce regulations under section 6 of the Gambling Act by 2005 in the next parliamentary session to clarify that loot boxes are a game of chance. "From there, either the rewriting of the law can begin, or the regulators will at least be kept under public scrutiny, explaining why they are not doing it.