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Alexander DeLarge
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(12-06-2017, 04:15 AM)
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Rep. Chris Lee's YouTube video "Time to Step Up"
https://youtu.be/5WxcGYvvgJo

Originally Posted by PC Gamer's article

Hawaii Rep. Chris Lee came to the attention of gamers a couple of weeks ago when he posted a video on YouTube calling out loot boxes, and Star Wars Battlefront 2 in particular, a game he described as "a Star Wars-themed online casino." In a new video that he put up today, Lee laid out a more detailed plan for curtailing "predatory gaming practices," and explained how people opposed to loot box mechanics can help make it happen.

The video lays out the basics of what Lee has in mind, which includes prohibiting the sale of videogames containing "gambling mechanisms" to anyone under the age of 21. That restriction would cover any situation in which players are purchasing a "percentage chance" to get an in-game item, rather than the item itself, and would apply not just to games sold at retail but also those available via digital distribution channels like Steam and GOG—a relevant point because ESRB ratings are not mandatory for digital storefronts.

Lee also expresses concern about game publishers who adjust the odds of various items dropping in loot boxes in order to take advantage of people who really want them. He acknowledges that his information is third-hand and unverified (and I've only ever heard of the opposite happening, in the form of "pity timers" that increase the odds of a good drop the longer a person goes without one), but nonetheless does a pretty good job of making it sound like an all-but-established fact.

As a result, he's also seeking an "accountability piece" of legislation to ensure that behind-the-scenes drop-rate shenanigans doesn't happen, which would presumably require publishers to reveal loot box drop rates odds—something similar to the step taken late last year by China.

Rep. Chris Lee asks supporters to do three things. He's not lying when he says it will only take five minutes.

Originally Posted by YouTube video description

1. Take 5 minutes to write to one or more of your elected officials: Governor, State Legislators, Mayor, and City Council members. Their email addresses can be found online.

2. Ask them to consider taking action to protect local families and particularly underage youth from predatory gaming practices. Tell your story in your own words or feel free to use or build on this example letter to get going: http://textuploader.com/dqn4s

3. Connect a link to a news article about this issue to add an additional perspective, and thank them for listening. That's it!

PC Gamer's article: https://www.pcgamer.com/us-lawmaker-...-loot-box-law/

Just in case you missed it, Rep. Chris Lee has also provided a template to send to your elected officials which you can easily find with a quick search online (Governor, State Legislators, Mayor, and City Council members). I highly recommend doing so.

Tell your story in your own words or feel free to use or build on this example letter to get going: http://textuploader.com/dqn4s

i-Lo
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(12-06-2017, 04:18 AM)
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Here’s hoping that Jim Sterling picks up on this.
TacoMasters
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(12-06-2017, 04:19 AM)
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The last thing we need is a political involvement in video games that catches the attention of the government. Also, I doubt this will ever go through.
lefty1117
Member
(12-06-2017, 04:21 AM)
Yep this will pretty much completely do away with loot boxes per the wording of his proposal. Hope the Internet Community truly understands what they have asked for.
Alexander DeLarge
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(12-06-2017, 04:26 AM)
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Originally Posted by TacoMasters

The last thing we need is a political involvement in video games that catches the attention of the government. Also, I doubt this will ever go through.

This isn't a slippery slope towards the government dictating what can and can't be contained in video games. The industry clearly has no intention of self-regulating and the only reason these business practices are being tolerated by the government is either through a loophole or a lack of knowledge on the government's part.

Gambling is accepting, recording, or registering bets, or carrying on a policy game or any other lottery, or playing any game of chance, for money or other thing of value. Title 18, U.S.C., Sec. 1955, makes it a federal crime or offense for anyone to conduct an 'illegal gambling business.'

I used to associate myself with an extremely powerful individual involved in the Vegas/Macau/Atlantic City resort/gambling scenes and based on the way they talked about the regulations and oversight.... If they could get around having to deal with the gambling comittees by guaranteeing a cent every time a slot machine lever was pulled, they'd do it. If the only thing keeping casinos from popping up in every city in the country was not rewarding with cash and giving out prizes with "no monetary value", they'd do that too. I don't think anyone should be able to get away with gambling on technicalities like this because we're seeing a huge problem over in Japan with people who play pachinko, which used a similar technicality.
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...f-first-casino
Northeastmonk
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(12-06-2017, 04:33 AM)
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Games rated AO (Adults Only) are typically a death sentence in the retail stores. I've only purchased AO games on Amazon and that was Manhunt 2 for PC. I don't think any publisher is going to want to associate their games with an age restriction of 21. At that point you should just make a slot machine out of your game.

There's gambling games for your cell phone. Once I downloaded a Wizard of Oz themed slot machine. I think it would be wise for publishers to stay away from this before big brother gets their hands on it.

My only question is: is this the only way? If they're going to always force us to spend money and never obtain what we want then I guess this is the way to go. It makes me feel like the dreamers of the gaming industry already had their time. Game mechanics are ideas coming from casino machines.

There's a ton of DLC in Japanese based games. I think that's half of what you see if you log into the PSN store for a sale on mobile. Just a bunch of random items marked down for a $1-$1.99.
heckmanimation
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(12-06-2017, 04:54 AM)
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Happy to see someone taking a proactive stance towards this and essentially the overall picture of gaming being an addiction akin to gambling

Biggest thing against this if lootboxes go, is gaming companies are going to have to replace the losses that lootboxes bring in, and that means more expensive gaming for everyone.
synce
Member
(12-06-2017, 05:02 AM)
This can't come soon enough. If you look at the top earning games on mobile half of them are literal slot machines, the others are slot machines disguised as legitimate games. At this point I don't even care that it's ruining games, it's just fucked up that these companies are trying to breed kids into addicts.
CadetMahoney
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(12-06-2017, 05:04 AM)
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I feel like the Japanese are to strict on their gambling laws - no prize money for streetfighter arcade tournaments (which is partially why EVO Japan is a free entry open to all event). But they also have rules on lootboxes I think which is fair.

Point being Japan has gambling laws applied to games of skill that don't fit the definition (in the west at least) of gambling or even come close to it. If they can do whatever they want and redefine things than anyone can.
DryvBy
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(12-06-2017, 05:08 AM)
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Slippery slop to go down. The government still looks as video games as murder simulators. I'd rather the consumer make the call than the government.
nush
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(12-06-2017, 05:08 AM)
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Predatory lootboxes need to be controlled. I welcome this news.
Ubername
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(12-06-2017, 05:27 AM)
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Originally Posted by heckmanimation

Biggest thing against this if lootboxes go, is gaming companies are going to have to replace the losses that lootboxes bring in, and that means more expensive gaming for everyone.

This is absurd. They're not gonna make games $69.99 or $79.99. And anyone who buys a season pass in the first place has a pitiable circumstance at best.

They'll cut their losses and have to go on without fucking gamers in the ass every chance they get, and have to get us to buy games the old fashioned way. Or they'll load everything up with ads, it'll be great.
Rocket Number 22
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(12-06-2017, 05:27 AM)
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I hope its something more than just an age limit on games with gambling. ....go into any public lobby in gta and its usually young kids whose parents bought them the game despite being an 18+
Trukk
Junior Member
(12-06-2017, 05:51 AM)
My main worry with having the government regulate this is exactly how narrow or broad the definition will be. Will "purchasing" include in game currency that you cannot buy? Will companies be able to come up with some bullshit to get around "percentage chance"? Will this include game with literal gambling based mini-games, like poker in the Tales Of series?
ckaneo
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(12-06-2017, 06:57 AM)
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I think we should just do what other countries do and make sure all the probabilities are known with each payment.
SMattera
Member
(12-06-2017, 07:04 AM)

Originally Posted by Ubername

This is absurd. They're not gonna make games $69.99 or $79.99. And anyone who buys a season pass in the first place has a pitiable circumstance at best.

They'll cut their losses and have to go on without fucking gamers in the ass every chance they get, and have to get us to buy games the old fashioned way. Or they'll load everything up with ads, it'll be great.

Blizzard released at least one $40 expansion for every single one of their games.

Until Overwatch.

You think that's a coincidence? (Hint: It's not.)

There also consequences to the overall experience. If you charge for the content, you fragment the player base, leading to a lesser experience.

I acknowledge that it may be taking advantage of some people, but banning loot boxes will have negative consequences for the majority of gamers.
Bl@de
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(12-06-2017, 07:11 AM)
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Government regulation? Great ... I mean, what could possibly go wrong ..
Noboru Wataya
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(12-06-2017, 07:50 AM)
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Originally Posted by Bl@de

Government regulation? Great ... I mean, what could possibly go wrong ..

In this instance, what could go wrong? I'm not American, so I don't have a say. Just curious.
Night.Ninja
One really creepy thing I do is just repeatedly shit on GAF while sarcastically calling it a "top tier gaming forum" so feel free to report me if I keep doing this.
(12-06-2017, 07:58 AM)
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This loot boot situation has gone too far
Dunki
Member
(12-06-2017, 08:08 AM)

Originally Posted by Noboru Wataya

In this instance, what could go wrong? I'm not American, so I don't have a say. Just curious.

1. All Japanese Gacha games will not come to the west or at least the US.

2. You will have someone who has no idea about video games and mechanics and will do some shit that will hurt the Industry way more than anyone wanted.


The rage against this has gone way too far. All lootbooxes do most of the time is to shorten your playtime nothing else. The moment you can also buy these ingame its totally fine.
Sakura
Foreigners: Give them an inch (of animu panties), and they'll take a mile.

DO NOT CONSORT WITH FOREIGNERS.
(12-06-2017, 08:36 AM)
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Just going by what is stated in the OP it sounds good to me.
Dr. Mario
Junior Member
(12-06-2017, 11:32 AM)

Originally Posted by Dunki


2. You will have someone who has no idea about video games and mechanics and will do some shit that will hurt the Industry way more than anyone wanted.

When will that be?
Shifty.
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(12-06-2017, 11:39 AM)
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Originally Posted by Dunki

The rage against this has gone way too far. All lootbooxes do most of the time is to shorten your playtime nothing else. The moment you can also buy these ingame its totally fine.

Why would you want to pay extra money to spend less time playing the thing you already paid $60 for?

If anything, that's indicative of game design that is artificially padded with time-wasting filler in order to encourage additional spending on these 'playtime shorteners'.
Yoshi
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(12-06-2017, 11:40 AM)
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Originally Posted by Noboru Wataya

In this instance, what could go wrong? I'm not American, so I don't have a say. Just curious.

It seems just to be a specific "sickness" of a surprisingly high percentage of US people to think that any involvement of governement is negative. Probably a result of effective PR work by neoliberals and industry.
DeliciousDoc
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(12-06-2017, 12:14 PM)
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Originally Posted by Yoshi

It seems just to be a specific "sickness" of a surprisingly high percentage of US people to think that any involvement of governement is negative. Probably a result of effective PR work by neoliberals and industry.

Government is bad, business having free run to screw people over as much as they can is the american dream.

Im from Canada and despite higher taxes, I trust the government more than some random entrepreneur collecting information on everything I do to sell to some other entrepreneur or circumventing laws to protect established businesses to provide a service at a lower cost while paying its employees less than the norm.

I currently live in Japan which tried to employ as many people as possible rather than peek profitability but constant pressure from the west (america) is trying to modernize it to worship profitability.
Dunki
Member
(12-06-2017, 12:21 PM)

Originally Posted by Shifty.

Why would you want to pay extra money to spend less time playing the thing you already paid $60 for?

If anything, that's indicative of game design that is artificially padded with time-wasting filler in order to encourage additional spending on these 'playtime shorteners'.

It all depends on what the person playing sees as filler. If you go by story based stuff everything not related to the story is basically filler. But every person will percieve this differently.

Some people thing the huge levels in an Uncharted game are filler and a time waster. Some people thing backtracking is a waste of time and filler. I feel these real game money purchases more as a service to people who do not want to play a game for a long period of time.

In MP it is even worse because every match not giving you progression could be seen as filler. If this is the only way to actually finish a game then yes sure. But if its just takes 3 hours instead of lets say 10 minutes it is your choice to pay for this.
recursive
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(12-06-2017, 12:52 PM)
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Originally Posted by SMattera

Blizzard released at least one $40 expansion for every single one of their games.

Until Overwatch.

You think that's a coincidence? (Hint: It's not.)

There also consequences to the overall experience. If you charge for the content, you fragment the player base, leading to a lesser experience.

I acknowledge that it may be taking advantage of some people, but banning loot boxes will have negative consequences for the majority of gamers.

How would allowing direct purchase of cosmetic items fragment the player base? Agreed map packs would do so but most popular multiplayer games have map packs vs free map releases.
Dredd97
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(12-06-2017, 01:06 PM)
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nice idea,

will never happen.. EA in particular, and the publishers in general will make sure they pay the right lobbying groups to either push it in to the long grass, or kill it completely...
Woo-Fu
incest on the subway
(12-06-2017, 01:06 PM)
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Originally Posted by TacoMasters

The last thing we need is a political involvement in video games that catches the attention of the government. Also, I doubt this will ever go through.

You don't have to read much history to figure out you're wrong on this one. Heck, you don't even have to read any history other than videogame history to figure out you're wrong on this one.

We've already been here before, but with age ratings. The threat of government intervention is the only reason the industry spent the money to self-regulate.

You need a pretty big stick when publishers are harvesting millions of carrots with their lootboxes.
Schrödinger's cat
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(12-06-2017, 01:12 PM)
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"He acknowledges that his information is third-hand and unverified ...

... but nonetheless does a pretty good job of making it sound like an all-but-established fact."

I'll take "What is due dilligence?" for $300, Bob.
Fuz
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(12-06-2017, 01:12 PM)
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It will never be too soon.
Fuz
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(12-06-2017, 01:26 PM)
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Chris Lee, the hero we don't deserve.
Fuz
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(12-06-2017, 01:33 PM)
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Originally Posted by Bl@de

Government regulation? Great ... I mean, what could possibly go wrong ..

Everything already gone wrong.
wipeout364
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(12-06-2017, 02:36 PM)
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Originally Posted by DeliciousDoc


Im from Canada and despite higher taxes, I trust the government more than some random entrepreneur collecting information on everything I do to sell to some other entrepreneur or circumventing laws to protect established businesses to provide a service at a lower cost while paying its employees less than the norm.
.

I think you should come back to Canada and take a look at the current government before making a statement like that.
DryvBy
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(12-06-2017, 03:46 PM)
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Originally Posted by Fuz

Everything already gone wrong.

We didn't need a law to stop Battlefront 2 from removing loot boxes. Consumers stopped it. Once you allow the lawmakers to tell you what is good for you and bad, you don't think they'll overstep their boundary? Not like they have a history of that or anything...
ChuyMasta
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(12-06-2017, 04:32 PM)
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Originally Posted by TacoMasters

The last thing we need is a political involvement in video games that catches the attention of the government. Also, I doubt this will ever go through.

It's like the ESRB all over again.
buldrhm
Junior Member
(12-06-2017, 04:48 PM)
It's a slippery slope, what is the difference between loot boxes and loot drops? What game doesn't utilize RNG loot drops in some way?
MegaMelon
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(12-06-2017, 05:49 PM)
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Originally Posted by buldrhm

It's a slippery slope, what is the difference between loot boxes and loot drops? What game doesn't utilize RNG loot drops in some way?

If I'm understanding you right the difference seems to apply when (additional) money is involved whilst there simultaneously being no guarantee of acquiring something. So the moment you are capable of spending real life money to have an additional chance of acquiring something would be when the label lootboxes is used.

So there could be a 1% chance of obtaining something rare like a certain monster part in Monster Hunter. That would be fine. But if there's a system in place that allows you to spend real life money for an additional chance to get that 1% item then that is when problems start. If you could buy that item outright, with real life money guaranteed then that would presumably be ok according to the proposal.

Not my personal stance of course I'm just analysing what's in the OP.
Blam
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(12-06-2017, 07:00 PM)
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I am happy these are finally being contested.

Too long has the games industry slowly abused this model to completely lock away shit, and give advantages to players who are willing to pay up.
Fbh
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(12-06-2017, 07:00 PM)
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I'm fine with it being regulated though 21 seems a bit extreme. I'd be fine with an M rating.

Originally Posted by buldrhm

It's a slippery slope, what is the difference between loot boxes and loot drops? What game doesn't utilize RNG loot drops in some way?

The difference is that real money is involved.

The problem isn't with the game having some sort of random element to it. The problem is paying without knowing what you are getting and systems made to exploit people (including children) into spending more money for a small chance of getting a desired item.
Stormblessed
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(12-06-2017, 07:26 PM)
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They need to make sure there isn't a loophole, like buying fake currency to spend on lootboxes.

Still - once it's dead in America, it's dead everywhere. We can but hope.
gioGAF
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(12-06-2017, 07:31 PM)
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I hope this gets some traction. The loot box garbage has gone on long enough. It is gambling, period, and should be treated as such. Minors can't buy lottery tickets, they should not be able to buy gambling simulators. The technicality these predators have been using to get around the law is ludicrous.

At the very least, odds should be revealed as they are in China and all such games should be labelled properly (ie. gambling).
Fnord
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(12-06-2017, 08:31 PM)
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Originally Posted by TacoMasters

The last thing we need is a political involvement in video games that catches the attention of the government. Also, I doubt this will ever go through.

This. Beyond that, it's a waste of legislative time and money. There's a really easy fix for all this loot box crap - don't buy it. If enough people don't buy it, the practice will change. If enough people keep buying these things, then the market has spoken and its your own faults.
BANGS
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(12-06-2017, 08:44 PM)
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Originally Posted by TacoMasters

The last thing we need is a political involvement in video games that catches the attention of the government.

This so hard. And it's obvious this guy is just trying hard for votes. Have to applaud his success tbqh...
rockyt
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(12-06-2017, 08:57 PM)
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Originally Posted by buldrhm

It's a slippery slope, what is the difference between loot boxes and loot drops? What game doesn't utilize RNG loot drops in some way?


There's actually a big differences. Loot boxes are paid for with real money for a small chance to obtain something like a casino. Loot drop there is no exchange of money involve. Basicallky the major difference is money is involve and becomes a form of gambling with money.
BANGS
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(12-06-2017, 08:59 PM)
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Originally Posted by rockyt

There's actually a big differences. Loot boxes are paid for with real money for a small chance to obtain something like a casino. Loot drop there is no exchange of money involve. Basicallky the major difference is money is involve and becomes a form of gambling with money.

B-b-but I thought this was about the CHILDREN! They will get addicted! It doesn't matter if it's money or not since kid's can't get credit cards without their parent's permission anyway. Will somebody please think about the children!?!?!
rockyt
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(12-06-2017, 09:00 PM)
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Businesses if not regulated have been known to go further and do worse things for higher profit. Monopolies, labor abuse, and low wages happens when no regulation is involve. This can become worse if it is not regulated as well.
rockyt
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(12-06-2017, 09:02 PM)
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Originally Posted by BANGS

B-b-but I thought this was about the CHILDREN! They will get addicted! It doesn't matter if it's money or not since kid's can't get credit cards without their parent's permission anyway. Will somebody please think about the children!?!?!

Only in western society. I come from a country where regulation is minimal and abuse of business runs rampant.
oliander
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(12-06-2017, 09:14 PM)
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Tough line to walk. Ideally, the government will continuously levy pressure and threaten to take it to court until the ESA/ESRB finally crack and lay out some self-regulation on the matter that satisfies them enough to drop the case.

It's what happened with the violence debate and hopefully that's how this shakes out too.

Actual regulation is bad, but the constant threat of regulation is very healthy in my opinion.
unhealthy_skeptic
Junior Member
(12-06-2017, 09:17 PM)
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i can see making gambling for items that can be sold and traded for real money being made illegal. however, outlawing loot boxes as a whole doesn't make sense to me. while it may be predatory, it is certainly not something that needs legislation.

not to mention his description of what should be banned. gambling mechanisms? random loot is what many games rely on to create unpredictable elements in games, and i don't trust the government to be able to tell the difference between loot for the purposes of unpredictability, and for the purpose of adding gambling elements.

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