Think of the children!
Late last year, various governments around the world started to take notice of how predatory loot boxes were becoming. In addition to the Belgian Gaming Commission holding meetings over the issue, Hawaiian lawmakers started to look into the matter. After months of deliberation, Hawaii is now introducing some bills that look to regulate the sale of games containing loot boxes.
As reported by the Hawaii Tribune Herald, there are four different bills that tackle things from both a house and senate level. The first pair, House Bill 2686 and Senate Bill 3024, propose to ban the sale of games with loot box mechanisms to people younger than 21. The second pair, House Bill 2727 and Senate Bill 3025, proposes that publishers properly label games with loot box mechanics along with disclosing the probability rates for obtaining any rewards.
State representative Chris Lee, who pushed for these new bills, said, “I grew up playing games my whole life. I’ve watched firsthand the evolution of the industry from one that seeks to create new things to one that’s begun to exploit people, especially children, to maximize profit.”
Just to be clear, nothing is official yet. The state government would need to vote on these bills before they become law and the whole issue of whether or not loot boxes actually constitute gambling is still up for debate. The real clincher to take from this is that someone with actual pull in a local government finally took notice and isn’t backing down.
Bills target video games with rewards for a price [Hawaii Tribune Herald]