- The European Parliament has voted to call the European Commission to investigate various issues in the gaming industry, such as loot boxes, and other addictive facets of games.
- The Parliament has asked the developers to "avoid designing games that feed addiction." Moreover, a similar set of rules could be blended to fit into the European Union's single market.
- The PEGI rating system could also see improvement to provide more clarity to parents. A system to aid the parents in recording how much time and money a child spends on a game is also requested.
- Other activities, such as gold farming will be analyzed to see if it coincides with human rights violation and financial crimes.
The inclusion of loot boxes and addictive microtransactions slowly seeped into the gaming sphere alongside the evolution of many visual and gameplay aspects. With the increase of scope in titles came various ways of monetizing them to ensure profits and longevity of franchises. However, several government bodies have recently begun taking action.
Recently, the European Parliament has shown interest in analyzing, investigating, and adopting measures against many harmful and addictive features like the loot boxes in games. The European Parliament has voted today to request the European Commission to examine various problems and their solutions for the gaming industry.
Reported by GamesIndustry.biz, MEP Adriana Maldonado Lopez led the report, which accumulated over 577 votes in favor, with 56 opposed and 15 declinations. The report included requests to create a system that can be more helpful for parents to record how much time and money a child spends on a game.
Furthermore, it also included propositions for rules to be conformed across the European Union’s single market. The PEGI rating system used in the European regions was highlighted as an instance that can be improved and provide better details to parents.
The MEPs have requested the game developers to avoid developing games in a way that sustains any of the gaming addictions. MEP Adriana Maldonado Lopez noted the devs to “avoid designing games that feed addiction.” She quoted the WHO’s accepting gaming disorder in some users as an instance of gaming addiction.
Our industry is committed to a fair and transparent consumer experience when playing videogames. European players have more choice of amazing games than ever, thanks to the increased variety of business models the industry has developed. Regulators should guard the right to access these cultural products while keeping Europe’s high level of consumer protection,” noted the Interactive Software Federation of Europe and the European Game Developers Federation in a joint statement to GamesIndustry.
The report also emphasized predatory monetization features in video games, such as loot boxes. European Parliament has voted for the Commission to conduct investigations concerning the harmful effect of loot boxes, provocations leading to making in-game purchases, and adopting measures if required.
Moreover, MEPs also voted to investigate gold farming, the activity of acquiring real-life money by selling in-game currency. The gold-farming will be analyzed to see if it coincides with any financial crimes and human rights violations.
Many government bodies have begun taking action against loot boxes and other harmful elements that come with video games. For instance, Six Dutch political parties showed interest in legally banning loot boxes last year. Additionally, Democrats have also been pushing different incentives to ban loot boxes for minors.
What are your thoughts about the European Parliament actively taking various measures to fend off loot boxes, gaming addiction, and more? Do you think other government bodies around the world will soon follow in the footsteps of the European Parliament? Do let us know your opinions in the comments below.
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