Representative Josh Hawley (R-MO) has declared that he is acquainting a bill with the Senate floor that will boycott plunder boxes and pay to win micro-transaction in computer games that are “played by minors.” This bill targets amusements that are played by those under 18.
The bill is designated “The Protecting Children from Abusive Games Act.”
“When a game is designed for kids, game developers shouldn’t be allowed to monetize addiction,” Hawley said. “And when kids play games designed for adults, they should be walled off from compulsive microtransactions. Game developers who knowingly exploit children should face legal consequences.”
The main goals of this bill are as follows, per Senator Hawley’s release:
- Games targeted at those under the age of 18.
- This would be determined by subject matter, visual content, and other indicators similar to those used to determine applicability of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA)
- Games with wider audiences whose developers knowingly allow minor players to engage in micro-transactions.
In a press release, Senator Hawley gave an example of Candy Crush’s microtransactions, a game owned by Activision Blizzard.
“Social media and video games prey on user addiction, siphoning our kids’ attention from the real world and extracting profits from fostering compulsive habits,” Hawley said. “No matter this business model’s advantages to the tech industry, one thing is clear: there is no excuse for exploiting children through such practices.”
The Entertainment Software Association sent the following statement in regards to the US Senator’s new bill:
“Numerous countries, including Ireland, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom, determined that loot boxes do not constitute gambling. We look forward to sharing with the senator the tools and information the industry already provides that keeps the control of in-game spending in parents’ hands. Parents already have the ability to limit or prohibit in-game purchases with easy to use parental controls.” – Stanley Pierre-Louis, Acting President and CEO, Entertainment Software Association.
The ESA has been agreeing with distributors on this since the beginning of the debate expressing that guardians ought to have extra data to settle on the choices for what amusements their children play as opposed to changing the business itself to have the US government intercede. Numerous individuals are reluctant to enable the administration to manage it, as it could prompt extreme changes for the business.
The FTC even opened an examination concerning plunder boxes and plans to have a meeting in August with network individuals, designers, and more to talk about the plunder box issues and approaches to push ahead.