A Washington state senator has proposed a bill concerning the loot box controversy in video games. According to GamesIndustry.biz, Washington Senator Kevin Ranker told press that “it is unacceptable to be targeting our children with predatory gambling” in video games, and that parents wouldn’t want their kids to have them “if they realized how predatory these games are.”
The proposed bill would address two things: whether loot boxes in games could be constituted as gambling under state law, and whether minors should have access to games containing loot box mechanics. This echoes the concerns about loot boxes around the world, including Belgium’s Gaming Commission, that aims to ban the loot box mechanic throughout Europe, and a Hawaii State Representative who wants to limit the sale of games with pay-to-win aspects.
Although the issue arose last year, the argument of whether loot boxes will stay in games will likely be a hot topic throughout 2018. This could certainly change the way video games are produced and marketed, so it will be interesting to see how this plays out. The deadline for a conclusion on the Washington state bill is December 1, 2018.