Gamers launch a petition to regulate "loot boxes" in video games in the UK
Published: 9th October 2017 | Source: UK Government and Parliament Petitions Website |
Gamers launch a petition to regulate "loot boxes" in video games
In the eyes of many, these loot systems are seen as harmful, especially given the fact that many of these games are targeted at children, with the FIFA series' Ultimate Team mode acting as a huge point of contention given the game's low age rating of 3+.
Many video game companies in recent years have introduced mechanics which are essentially gambling of which are targeted at children and vulnerable adults. While not currently considers gambling by law they do copy many traits to make them as addictive and can lead to real money being lost/earned.
Gambling in video games mostly involves 'loot boxes' where players use virtual currency (often bought with real money) to earn in game items often worth less than what they paid (sometimes more) hence its gambling.
Currently only china has introduced new laws to force companies to display the odds of winning which had been standard in the uk gambling industry for years.
While the idea of a loot box can seem very exciting, the implementation of the system is fairly exploitative, with some games splitting items into separate parts facilitating the need to purchase a larger number of "loot boxes" or failing to publish the drop rates of specific items in this loot boxes, making it easy for developers to adjust drop rates for items without users knowing.
At this time it is unclear what the solution to the problems associated with in-game loot boxes will be, be it an increase in age rating for games that include them, placing restrictions on developers that are similar to other gambling tools or something else.
The UK's Government will respond to petitions that get more than 10,000 signatures, with consideration for a Parliamentary debate coming after a petition reaches over 100,000 signatures.
This petition is available to sign here, though please note that this petition should only be signed by British Citizens or UK residents.
You can join the discussion on whether or not in-game loot boxes should be considered as a form of gambling on the OC3D Forums.