To regulate the calling, video-game loot boxes


A US politician has condemned the “reckless practices” seen in games, the loot-boxes or crates.

Games use to give random rewards, and to be acquired, either through gameplay or by spending real money.

Hawaii state representative Chris Lee said, games with boxes similar to casinos and called for laws restricting their use.

The condemnation comes as the Belgian lucky-regulatory authorities examine the growing use of in-game rewards.

In a statement, released on YouTube, Mr Lee pointed to the use of loot-boxes, the in Electronic Arts’ Star Wars Battlefront II game.

He called the game “Star Wars-themed online casino, designed to help children in money to lure”.”Optional feature”

EA responded to Mr. Lee’s criticism of a statement released by the Entertainment Software Association.

He said the boxes were not in play and a player was the decision about whether or not you took advantage of the “optional feature”.

The Battlefront II game at the beginning of this month has been widely criticized since its release due to the way the loot box system worked.

The furore led disable EA to pay a way for people to get more loot-boxes. Many complained, it meant players with deep pockets an advantage, because you could buy useful boosts to your character skills, or mighty heroes.

The series led the Belgian Gaming Commission to start its own investigation. It is said, because the players paid the money and receive a random reward, the games could fall under its jurisdiction.

U.S. authorities have recently decided that games with loot crates, not as a gambling, because the players get some kind of reward if you purchase the boxes.

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In the UK, the Gambling Commission took a similar stance and said that the boxes are not under his control, because the rewards were only usable in the game.

Ed Barton, an entertainment analyst at consultancy firm Ovum, said loot box mechanics were to be paid for, increasingly, was a part of the games, for the people, a full price.

Some games, such as Blizzard’s Overwatch, he said, only increases the “cosmetic”, it has no influence on how the game was played.Psychological tricks

But, he added, there were others that tried to totally monetize a game via loot boxes.

“There are a number of people that are uncomfortable that this mechanism is in games,” said Mr Barton. Their discomfort was due to the psychological tricks that game makers power to interest and opening loot boxes.

The same tricks were used in slot machines and casinos, people keep playing and paying, he said.

“Loot box open, the sirens, the sounds, the way it opens slowly – it is designed to your senses stimulate.

“It’s not like pulling the handle on a one armed bandit-you know, if you win,” said Mr Barton. “The impact this has on your brain is pretty well established.”


Marc Etches, head of the gambling Aware of the charity, said it was increasingly concerned about an in-game reward.

“It will always differ more and more difficult to see between some of the increasingly common features in computer games and gambling,” he told the BBC, adding that there is the danger, the loot boxes have been “normalization” for many young people.

“Current legislation was not to be developed for this technology, and loopholes should be closed urgently,” he said.