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Hawaii to take action against loot boxes in gaming

Star Wars Battlefront 2.jpg

It was just a matter of time before governments got involved in the microtransaction controversy as it is their job to protect people from the dangers of the world. Loot boxes are a danger to society and the more you think about it, the more they are being classified as gambling whether or not the UK Government likes it. Hawaii hosted a press conference yesterday where they stood up against in-game purchases and are fighting back against them. Mainly due to the fact that they believe children are at risk due to these practices as it teaches them about gambling at a very early age. 

Hawaii State Representative Chris Lee tackled the issue stating that "it is a trap" (no Star Wars pun intended) and that EA's recent release, Star Wars: Battlefront 2 shows extreme "predatory practices". According to the government, the recent loot box drama is a danger to kids as it lures them into spending money and take advantage of vulnerable youth. The government will be taking action against these practices not only for the kids but for everyone else they state. 

“This game is a Star Wars-themed online casino designed to lure kids into spending money. It’s a trap. This is something we need to address to ensure that particularly kids who are underage, who are not psychologically and emotionally mature enough to gamble–which is why gambling is prohibited under [the age of] 21–are protected from being trapped into these cycles which have compelled many folks to spend thousands of dollars in gaming fees online.”

“We’re looking at legislation this coming year which could prohibit the sale of these games to folks who are underage in order to protect these families, as well as prohibiting different kinds of mechanisms in those games,” he explained. “We’ve been talking with several other states as well [and] legislators there are looking at the same thing. I think this is an appropriate time to make sure these issues are addressed before this becomes the norm for every new game.”

After the conference aired, Reddit exploded with support from gamers all over the world where Lee encouraged them to continue to support the efforts to bring down in-game gambling and contact their own state legislators to request they act against this too. 

“These kinds of loot boxes and microtransactions are explicitly designed to prey upon and exploit human psychology in the same way casino games are so designed. This is especially true for young adults who child psychologists and other experts explain are particularly vulnerable. These exploitive mechanisms and the deceptive marketing promoting them have no place in games being marketed to minors, and perhaps no place in games at all.”

We fully agree with this and even our South African government should do something about it too. Take a look at the full conference below. 

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