Loot Boxes Are Not Gambling, Says The Entertainment Software Association
The Entertainment Software Association is a body constituted of all the big publishers in the American gaming industry- basically, EA, Activision, Ubisoft, Take 2, and so on. It is supposed to be the industry’s attempt at self regulation, but more than that, it is also the industry’s lobbying group that exists to represents the interests of the publishers to the US government.
So it should come as no surprise to you, then, that the ESA, speaking on the controversy surrounding loot boxes, that has made various governments around the world, including the American government, openly declare that they will be looking into the situation, stated that loot boxes are not gambling, and that they are voluntary, so it’s all okay.
“Loot boxes are a voluntary feature in certain video games that provide players with another way to obtain virtual items that can be used to enhance their in-game experiences. They are not gambling. Depending on the game design, some loot boxes are earned and others can be purchased. In some games, they have elements that help a player progress through the video game. In others, they are optional features and are not required to progress or succeed in the game. In both cases, the gamer makes the decision,” they said in a statement reported by The Rolling Stone.
Yeah, no, they can piss off with that- the fact that the gamer makes the decision is in and of itself the big problem- they are deliberately designed to be predatory and exploit addiction tendencies, similar to gambling, in vulnerable people. This is exactly why gambling is regulated- and this is why loot boxes need to be regulated, too. And they will be, eventually- no matter how much the big publishers try to oppose it, it will be.
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