Published: Thu, February 15, 2018

Hawaii legislators looking to put age restrictions on loot crates in gaming

Hawaii legislators looking to put age restrictions on loot crates in gaming

Lawmakers are considering several bills that would require labels for certain video games and restrict the sale of them to individuals under the age of 21.

Hawaii is leading the way in addressing the problem of loot boxes thanks to Chris Lee and multiple bills have been proposed.

House Bill 2686 and Senate Bill 3024 would prohibit the sale of any game that features a system where players can purchase a random reward using real money to anyone under the age of 21. How exactly this could be regulated is not clear. The other pair of bills, House Bill 2727 and Senate Bill 3025, will require game publishers to clearly label games featuring loot boxes and disclose their probability drop rates. Previously, Belgium had ruled that loot crates in Star Wars Battlefront II could be classified as gambling.

Purchasable in-game rewards might be harder for gaming companies to push if state lawmakers in Hawaii have their way, according to the Hawaii Tribune-Herald.

Since the release of the new Star Wars Battlefront II action shooter video game Star Wars Battlefront 2, gambling regulators are busy with examining the so-called loot boxes and determine if they constitute gambling or not. Publishers would be prohibited from modifying their games to include loot crates if they failed to place the warning on their game's packaging.

Soon, you might be able to start smoking in parts of the U.S. sooner than you'll be allowed to buy a game like Madden, FIFA, Battlefront II, Middle Earth: Shadow of War, and many, many others.

Back in November, Lee, who has been at the forefront of the war on microtransactions/loot boxes, likened Electronic Arts' Star Wars Battlefront II to a "Stars Wars-themed online casino created to lure kids into spending money". As it is them, who better understand the dynamics of the gaming industry.

A quartet of proposed bills introduced last month target exploitative monetization techniques in video games that some fear might psychologically condition players to become addicted to gambling.

Lee tells the Tribune Herald: "If enough of the market reacts, the industry would have to respond and change its practices".

On the other hand, one gamer, Pahi Bauckham, said he occasionally finds himself spending additional money in the game "Call of Duty: WWII" simply for the sake of having extra content. He further adds that there is no authority now regulating the industry although it is worth $30 billion and arguably bigger than Hollywood.

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