A US senator from Missouri recently introduced legislation to prevent video games from charging kids for in-game features.
As in-game microtransactions become increasingly common, a growing chorus of critics is arguing that it’s unethical to monetize the addictiveness of video games — especially among kids.
Loot boxes make it easy to lose money
A growing number of video games make it easy for kids to run up credit card bills by offering upgrades, extra features, and in-game “loot boxes.”
Many popular games are free to play and download, but they sell upgrades to give players extra lives, cooler costumes, or other sweet loot — encouraging kids and compulsive gamers to spend big bucks.
The popular app Candy Crush offers a $150 “Luscious Bundle,” and Fortnite made the sale of different skins (costumes) so integral to gameplay that kids are bullied if they don’t buy them.
Two can play at this game…
“The Protecting Children from Abusive Games Act” is intended to ban loot boxes and pay-to-win microtransactions.
Josh Hawley (R-MO), the freshman US senator who introduced the bill, said, “Game developers who knowingly exploit children should face legal consequences.”
Game developers, on the other hand, claim parental controls already offer a way to prohibit purchases in video games.