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Video Game Loot Box Controversy


Say, you’re playing a game, and you get to a difficult part of the game, and you need some kind of extra powers in the game to help you overcome that difficulty, so you have garnered so far from playing the game, and you purchase a loot box with underlying abilities to deal with the difficulties presented to you at that level of that game. Yes, that’s what a loot box does practically. This was not so much of a problem until it became sort of an addiction, kids got addicted to playing these games because they needed to win more loot boxes to unlock more levels.


The addiction kids had to video games with loot boxes did not pose so much of a problem for a while until the loot box developers upped their antics. With video games like Overwatch and Star Wars, Battle Front II came the ‘play to win’ system that was updated into the existing loot box system which was highly criticized by a lot of people with one major fear, that it would lead to gambling. This bothered citizens and towards the end of the year, 2010 governments in countries like China, Japan, and Australia made moves to regulate the loot boxes under the gambling laws.

The controversy

The regulation of the loot box system by the government did not go done well with the gaming industry and developers and they all came out to decry the action made by the government to regulate the loot boxes under the gambling laws. In a statement made by the International Game Developers Association recently. CEO Jen McLean had urged the developers and game publishers to come together and take an action against the government regulation. Asking them to instead regulate how the boxes are used by themselves, thus taking away from the hands of the government that power, because left to them, they would create restrictive laws that would not only impact the loot boxes but “any random reward elements in the game”. Her statement was in response to the recent news that the US Federal Trade Commission has intentions to start an investigation into the loot boxes.

She also advised that a few steps be taken to self control the use of the loot boxes.

Make a commitment to not sell these loot boxes to children

Disclose the odds of the different rewards to whoever is purchasing the loot boxes

Launch a campaign that allows the public to know that there are parental controls that are available to control how the players play this game.


While all of these controversial issues surrounding the loot boxes are going on, Democrat Chris Lee, a politician from Hawaii, is making movements to put in place a law that would limit the sale of video games with “gambling-like mechanisms” to people under 21. According to him, he is standing up for what is right and he is asking the public to do the same.