Hawaii state rep Chris Lee has now introduced four bills regulating lockboxes

Hawaii State Representative Chris Lee has made good on his plan to write and submit bills to the state legislature regulating the sale of video games with predatory lockboxes. The four bills are straightforward: Two seek to block the sale of video games with random-reward gambleboxes to people under the age of 21 (gambling age in Hawaii as well as many other US states), while the other pair requires proper labeling of the gambling mechanics on game boxes as well as disclosure of probability rates of items inside the boxes.

As GIbiz points out, up to now the only active bill on the topic in the US was a demand for more research by Washington representatives.

“We don’t need to change the laws in every state,” Lee, who considers himself a gamer, has previously said on the subject of his tactics. “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.”

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Mr_Planthead

I hope he succeeds and then after that he goes after the real threat, MMO Addiction. I’m thinking they should limit people to 4 hours of MMOs per week. After all gambling, like MMO addiction, is a real thing and we need laws to protect us from this! Then the games will go back to subscription and I’ll have no need for reading MMO websites since I won’t play more than one game and then MMO websites will cry when people stop visiting their site

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Michael

lol

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Robert Mann

Queue black market game sales to ‘adults’ who just aren’t 21 yet. They haven’t learned that doesn’t really work yet?!?

Labelling and disclosure will… please people who wouldn’t buy these anyway. No real fix there.

I see this as being no more than a minor inconvenience to the companies, and not really changing anything, if this is indeed the extent of these bills. Maybe it is a start, but I very much doubt that government will actually upset big businesses to placate us unless things really hit a boiling point of anger. Because that’s statistically the status quo.

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Michael

You do realize that if it was deemed illegal for people under 21 to buy games with lootboxes in them that it would effectively kill loot boxes don’t you? They would not even be able to sell them on Steam, let alone your local Walmart or Gamestop.

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Toy Clown

There’s a state rep after my heart! I hope this helps enact change in the MMO industry.

possum440 .
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possum440 .

Nice, hope this gets traction.

*sniff*……..*sniff*….wait, what? Is, Is that a money payoff inbound…!!!

Loyheta
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Loyheta

Awesome

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Randy Savage

It’s a start

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rafael12104

Oh, and btw. To whoever chose the banner for this article, GG! Lol. That last tumbler is sticky but it seems to be sliding free!

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rafael12104

Lol! Ah well, let me just hit the “diatribe is due” button here. You have been warned.

So, I’m a Republican. I’ve said it before, and I say it now. I’m not a Trumpy, err Trumpite… or whatever because I think he is and idiot. And generally I believe in fiscal conservative policies.

But let me be the first Republican to congratulate Chris Lee. Yes, I’m fucking serious! Kudos kid! It doesn’t matter that this is only your states legislature. I doesn’t matter that politics being what it is, a bill like yours may or may not see the light of day in the “main land”.

You had the balls to push it forward, Chris. To actually do what you said you would do and do something! That puts you head and shoulders above most politicians right there.

And you know what? It will have an affect. It puts the loot box two step in play and others, opportunist or do gooders will pick it up.

As for the details? Well, I believe in the invisible hand of competition when it comes to business. But I also know damn well that corporations do not. That is the irony. They would rig the system if they could. But we can force them comply. Force them to be decent.

So, my hope is that your bill is another chink in their armor. And finally they will take the hint and begin the process of creating a self regulated solution to predatory business practices. Because it isn’t just a “loot box”. It is how they work and who they are targeted towards. Maybe they can get the ESRB to stop their rubber stamping “approved” and actually work on something worth while!

In the meantime? Chris Lee, you get that shit passed and I’m a fan. Hawaii is a blue state after all. Momentum. Another key political truism. You get the ball rolling and let’s see what gets smashed along the way.

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agemyth 😩

… while the other pair requires proper labeling of the gambling mechanics on game boxes as well as disclosure of probability rates of items inside the boxes.

This should be one of the ESA’s primary goals right now as the main body of representation for video game industry self-regulation (in the US). This is the stuff the ESRB (created and run by the ESA) exists for, right? Put a big dumb slot machine picture next to the ESRB rating and the “Online Interactions Not Rated”. Regulate yourself, ESA/game industry, else you be government regulated.

The problem then becomes that not very many people see physical boxes for games anymore anyway. Age gates on the web are a joke. You can initiate a download+install on Steam and its competitors for a F2P game and leave the store page in about as long as it takes the full page to load, and before you even see the ESRB rating (or your regional equivalent) and its descriptors.

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Michael

It won’t be a problem because if they were considered gambling Steam would not host them. Gambling is in the same category as hardcore sex when it comes to selling it. Steam won’t sell games that have it in it.

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A Dad Supreme

HAWAII STATE REP CHRIS LEE HAS NOW INTRODUCED FOUR BILLS REGULATING LOCKBOXES

So… a 37 year old Democratic Representative (not a Senator) from Hawaii introduces four bills wishing to severely regulate what a billion-dollar industry takes in as basically free money from multi-millionaire CEOs?

This Democrat wishes to get these bills passed during a time in American politics when the President of the United States himself has conflicts of interest regarding his own businesses (Trump) from which he himself hasn’t divested and only enriched while in office?

The Democrat also wishes to get these bills pushed into law in a system where the Republicans own the Supreme Court, House of Representatives, the Senate and the office of the President, where almost every one of them are multi-millionaires themselves and just passed an insane tax cut for the rich?

really.gif
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Arktouros

Don’t forget that it’s in a state that has no major game development studios or businesses operating in them and very few if any minor game development studios that anyone would even recognize the names of.

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Schmidt.Capela

He is proposing state-level legislation in a state where Democrats control the House (46-5), the senate (25-0), and the executive. Republicans effectively have no say over the issue, unless they decide to create federal legislation to preempt the issue and guarantee the right for game companies to sell lootboxes to minors.

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A Dad Supreme

The business of political government IS business.

Hawaii offers nothing but tourism and is dependant on military base dollars as it has one of the largest military populations in the world, not just the US at around 60k people.

There aren’t going to be any Democrats passing any laws like this there and risking a downsize in funds from the Federal government and access to business contacts for when they leave office.

Contrary to all that “states rights” rabble, this country is run from the Federal government downward behind the scenes, not from the states upward.

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Sally Bowls

Most law in the US is created by putatively non-partisan judges, not by legislators.
[IANAL] So if a judge were to decide, e.g., that selling a nationwide internet game was covered by the interstate commerce clause, then that is not an issue for a state. Remember when the Milwaukee government was prevented from interfering with the AR game due to free speech, it was a judge, not a legislature that precluded that.

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Robert Mann

Uh, non-partisan? What legal system have you been looking at?

The entire appointment process is political, for crying out loud! Anybody who believes that isn’t looking, imo.

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Paragon Lost

.

No Tilting at Windmills.jpg
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A Dad Supreme

Just then they came in sight of thirty or forty windmills that rise from that plain.

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Paragon Lost

Hehe. Right? Honestly I’m personally exhausted myself from tilting at windmills for the past few decades. He’s gonna accomplish nothing of substance most likely.

I’ve gotten to the point that I’ve been trying to step back from all tilting of any sort. My doctor favors it because to be blunt the cost to my health hasn’t been good and I am no longer young.

Going out riding ((going out for a couple hours in a bit, need to wait to do my blood test before I can go…(mutter)) as much as I can with the weather. Gaming a bit and ignoring chat channels, reading a lot of books, watching the movie here and there, taking walks, eating right and drinking less. lol. The simple life in other words.

camren_rooke
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camren_rooke

I’m casting about for real estate near the Canadian border myself for retirement. Maybe Washington state.

Not for any SPECIFIC reason, just reasons.

>.>

<.<

Estranged
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Estranged

Canada doesn’t want us. The end.

camren_rooke
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camren_rooke

I’ll be sneaky.

Estranged
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Estranged

Camren, they really don’t want us pillaging their social services.

The rest of the world acts and feels like the POTUS speaks, funny enough.

camren_rooke
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camren_rooke

I’ll bring my retirement pension.

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Sally Bowls

He’s gonna accomplish nothing of substance most likely.

I shall have to disagree. If he wanted to do a PR or reelection advertisement/promotion, then I would assume that sites like this would be so crass as to charge him. But each press release gets him free attention. Which he has already indubitably succeeded with.

I suppose it could be about the lockboxes or he actually thinks he can accomplish something, but Occam’s Razor means I am going with the more credible theory.

So I think the artistic analogy is not Don Quixote de la Mancha rather it is Professor Harold Hill.

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Michael

He already has. Notice how many games are starting to advertise that they are loot box free and that games like LoL (the biggest f2p game in the world currently) are starting to disclose lootbox odds. People know which way the wind is blowing. Sure, it is not ALL him, but he is certainly helping.

camren_rooke
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camren_rooke

Those windmills ain’t gonna tilt themselves!

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rafael12104

Got to give it a good old American try I say!

If Don Q would have been an American he would have had a Ford F150. Much better than a donkey and a spear when ramming windmills.

“Hold my cerveza!”

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Bruno Brito

If he was brazilian, he would be fightning banana trees with a machete.

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Robert Mann

Meanwhile, the vast majority of Democrats have similar issues (at least in national representation, state legislatures are a little different of course… which is where this plays out, because he is a state legislature member) with having massive amounts of wealth from being bought and paid for by companies across the nation. Your point sounds more like political bias, than actually caring about anything else, given how you drone on about party.

You could improve that, and sound a lot less… bought and paid for, you know! Just a friendly note about the problems with this from the independent viewpoint.

Estranged
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Estranged

Dad, I think the issue is both sides are too busy pointing their fingers, versus looking at their leaders. Dems and Pubs sold us down the river a long time ago, to give Trump (dis)credit for this is ridiculous.

No need to fight over how much our Government should steal and spend from the people. They have an open check book and a printing press.

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Michael

This doesn’t really matter as this will only affect Hawaii, which is a blue state anyways. The bigger picture won’t be a ball rolling down a hill until after Trump is no longer in office after the next election. The pendulum is swinging back to extremist democrats soon enough