Say you were a legislator concerned about the lootbox/lockbox gambling issues in gaming. How would you actually go about drafting a law that targets predatory monetization without, as some people fear, sliding down a slippery slope into unfettered regulation so that suddenly all video games are illegal but Pong?
Hawaii State Representative Chris Lee, whom you’ll remember from his Reddit post and video on the subject a few weeks ago, has a new video out explaining just that, as his goal and that of other representatives in other states is to craft language that is tailored specifically to blocking the sale of gambleboxes to people under 21 (the legal age for gambling in the US). It’s clear from the video that Lee and the attorneys working on the potential bill actually understand the gacha mechanics and nastier algorithmic targeting tactics that some game studios employ.
“We don’t need to change the laws in every state,” he notes. “We just need to keep the conversation going, to keep pressure up, and ultimately get enough attention to this issue so that maybe the laws in a couple states change – but that’s enough to compel the industry to build games that meet those laws, to stop exploiting folks who might have gambling addictions and others, and actually create better games.”
Lee further requests that citizens write to the representatives of their own local governments, offering a sample letter for copypasta for those so inclined.