Did you know that you can customize every little detail of your video game character or avatar? You can give it whatever clothes or accessories you like. You can purchase premium weapons that will give you superiority over the legions of trolls screaming in your ears during combat. You can buy basically anything you want.
When I was younger, I insisted on my character having a lightsaber and a Chicago Bears jersey. Because who doesn’t want that?
The software companies realized this was another effective way to make money off gamers, especially children.
Even better, they could link the games to the credit card of their customer’s parents and make these in game purchases seamlessly.
Then in an even more effective way to draw revenue they could turn that itself into a game. They could have a mystery box of “loot” that could provide those extras for a cost.
Maybe it wouldn’t be a lightsaber and Bears jersey. Maybe it would be a pet owl and a tuxedo.
If that’s not what you want, you can buy more loot boxes with your parent’s credit card until you get what you want. And we’ll charge or those items in points not dollars.
That’s how a loot box works. It’s predatory, it targets kids, and it’s a lazy way for video game companies to make money.
Luckily, Senator Josh Hawley from Missouri is sponsoring the Protecting Children From Abusive Games Act that would also target games on cellphones which are even easier to make charges on (story HERE).
Our Senators here in Florida, Marco Rubio and Rick Scott should support that ban.
Reports estimate that video game companies make up to $50 billion dollars from pay to win and loot box video games. Maybe you have children and you’re already familiar with the concept.
Perhaps you’ve unfortunately already had a run in with the bill that comes from those loot boxes. You know they need to be stopped.
Other countries such as Belgium and Japan have already pushed back at these transactions and we should too.
When you purchase a video game, you should be buying a finished product. Any attachments or add ons should be done through the appropriate vendor in a easily recognizable selling environment. And you should get what you pay for. This is also a consumer issue.
There is a lot going on in Washington but Scott and Rubio should vote to support this legislation if they find the time.
And if the bill goes nowhere, you should educate as many people as possible, you might save them a small fortune.