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Here could be the start of another nail in the coffin for loot boxes, as the Children's Commissioner in England has put out a new report after a little study was done.

Never heard of the Children's Commissioner? It's a public independent body in England that is responsible for promoting and protecting the rights of children (read more here). The current head is Anne Longfield, who today released a pretty damning report on the state of how certain games and companies really attempt to suck money out of people at every opportunity.

I won't quote all of it to spare you some of the things we all already know but it's good to see such a thing being done over here. It's needed, it has been for a long time now. This particular study had them speak to children between 10 to 16 about their gaming habits, what they liked and disliked and so on. Games included that were talked about include Fortnite, Call of Duty, FIFA, Roblox and more which do have some pretty aggressive advertising of the in-game items and subscriptions.

Not all of it is terrible in the report though, thankfully Longfield does carefully mention how playing games can help people to socialise, learn new skills and have fun. All of this applies to adults, just as much as it does to children both the pros and cons of it all.

The result of the study is where it gets interesting. The Commissioner has called for multiple things to be changed, a few of which I will summarise below:

  • A place to track historic spending in games
  • A maximum daily spending limit in the games as well
  • Calls on the UK government to adjust the Gambling Act to regulate loot boxes as gambling
  • Calls on the UK government to have a wider review into the definition of gambling in the Gambling Act, due to all the new forms of monetization appearing in games
  • Games distributed online should get a legally enforceable age-rating system like physical games
  • A requirement of additional warnings for games which have in-game transactions

This bit especially caught my attention:

The amount of money spent, and the lack of a guaranteed reward meant children often feel like their money is wasted. In some cases, they lose control of their spending and attempt to ‘chase losses’ by spending more.

That sure as hell sounds like gambling to me…

You can find the full report here.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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58 comments
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Eike 22 October 2019 at 1:34 pm UTC
Unfortunately, British government is... busy.


Oooordaaa!
Liam Dawe 22 October 2019 at 1:37 pm UTC
EikeUnfortunately, British government is... busy.


Oooordaaa!
I attempted to watch some live the other day, the UK Speaker is hilarious. I'm pretty sure at this point uuurderrr is just a tic, he seemed to say it every few words


Last edited by Liam Dawe on 22 October 2019 at 1:37 pm UTC
Eike 22 October 2019 at 1:44 pm UTC
Liam DaweI attempted to watch some live the other day, the UK Speaker is hilarious. I'm pretty sure at this point uuurderrr is just a tic, he seemed to say it every few words

I watched a bit of it on Saturday.
I wasn't sure every "uuurderrr" was really neeeded either.
You do have some interesting traditions for sure. ;)
fagnerln 22 October 2019 at 2:07 pm UTC
HERE WE GO AGAIN...

We don't need the government controlling even more our lives, the parents should moderate what their children are using.
Eike 22 October 2019 at 2:11 pm UTC
fagnerlnHERE WE GO AGAIN...

We don't need the government controlling even more our lives, the parents should moderate what their children are using.

Does this seem to work well?
Liam Dawe 22 October 2019 at 2:15 pm UTC
fagnerlnHERE WE GO AGAIN...

We don't need the government controlling even more our lives, the parents should moderate what their children are using.
Except many don't and that's without getting into the issues that the report brings up, with bullying when some kids don't have what others do due to the microtransactions and so on. There's an absolute ton of reasons why this sort of legislation is necessary and it's not just for kids too, you do realise this kind of gambling and blowing money on loot boxes/micro happens very regularly to adults too right?

Don't be so naive.


Last edited by Liam Dawe on 22 October 2019 at 2:15 pm UTC
Kiba 22 October 2019 at 2:25 pm UTC
fagnerlnHERE WE GO AGAIN...

We don't need the government controlling even more our lives, the parents should moderate what their children are using.
Then fight for police and army to be disarmed and fired.
When we the poor people start to eat the rich don't ask for government support.

Or are you one of those minarchists that only want government for working class suppression?
Brisse 22 October 2019 at 2:26 pm UTC
fagnerlnHERE WE GO AGAIN...

We don't need the government controlling even more our lives, the parents should moderate what their children are using.

It's clearly not been working up until now, and from my perspective as an adult without any children of my own, these things are still ruining games, as we have seen countless times in so called "AAA" games that have been more or less designed from the ground and up around loot boxes, predatory monetization and gambling practices, which by the way can be hazardous to some adults as well, not just children. Those games are not better for it. As games they are objectively worse regardless whether one jumps into the micro-transaction part of the game or stays out of it. The game industry has had years to fix this issue and they have failed spectacularly. Only recent media coverage and government interest has had a bit of positive effect, but it's still not enough. New legislation is needed, and the game industry brought it on themselves.

Edit: Fixed a stupid typo


Last edited by Brisse on 22 October 2019 at 7:11 pm UTC
Nezchan 22 October 2019 at 2:26 pm UTC
What would be interesting is to require, with every real-money purchase on microtransactions, a cumulative tally be displayed showing how much was spent on the game that day/week/total amount. I would imagine simply seeing how quickly runaway spending can occur on those sorts of games would give a lot of players pause.


Last edited by Nezchan on 22 October 2019 at 2:31 pm UTC
The_Aquabat 22 October 2019 at 2:26 pm UTC
Liam Dawe
EikeUnfortunately, British government is... busy.


Oooordaaa!
I attempted to watch some live the other day, the UK Speaker is hilarious. I'm pretty sure at this point uuurderrr is just a tic, he seemed to say it every few words

john bercow is legendary.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6rRBLegvo5w
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