Rep. Chris Lee of Hawaii declared his intention for pushing legislation against predatory practices in online gaming. This is in light of recent Star Wars Batllefront 2 controversies. In a press conference recently held, he also mentioned that such practice is “… a trap”.
Below is the transcript of Lee’s press conference:
We are here today to ensure future protections for kids youth and everyone, when it comes to the spread of predatory practices in online gaming and the significant financial consequences that it can have on families and has been having on families around this nation.
This game is a Star Wars themed online casino designed to lure kids into spending money. It’s a trap. And this is something that we need to address to ensure that, particularly kids, who are underage who, are not psychologically and emotionally mature enough to be able to gamble. Which is why gambling is prohibited under 21 are protected from being trapped into these cycles which have compelled many folks to spend thousands of dollars in gaming fees online.
We’re looking at legislation this coming year which could prohibit access or prohibit the sale of these games to folks who are underage in order to protect families as well as prohibiting different kinds of mechanisms in those games. We’ve been talking with several other states as well legislators there who are looking at the same thing. I think this is appropriate time to make sure that these issues are addressed before this becomes the new norm for every game.
Just today, the Belgian government declared lootboxes as a form of gambling. Lucas Arts has also made a statement about supporting the fans of the franchise and EA’s backpedaling from the original lootbox progression system.
For years, gamers found no one listening about woes of microtransaction-riddled AAA games. Understanding that AAA games are full-priced, publishers still kept undermining gamers’ patience over schemes of overcharging. The Battlefront 2 controversy has opened more gamers, even mainstream media into the nature of simulated gambling in AAA games.