Today, Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) will formally introduce his bill to ban the sale of loot boxes to children, and two of his Democratic colleagues have signed to support the legislation.
Hawley Abusive Abusive Children's Protection Act would prohibit, if approved, video game companies from selling loot boxes to children under 18 years of age and would make it illegal for child-oriented games to include payment mechanisms for win. If it were discovered that a gaming company illegally included these functions in games aimed at minors, it would be penalized financially.
Only a few months ago Hawley took office and has already earned a reputation as a harsh critic of US technology companies. UU., Like Facebook and Google. With this new legislation, Hawley has partnered with two other lawmakers, Sens. Ed Markey (D-MA) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), to address what they believe is exploitation in the gaming space.
"Only the economy of addiction can produce a business model that is based on put a casino in the hands of everyone "A child in the United States with the goal of hooking them desperately," said Hawley. "I am proud to present this milestone, bipartisan legislation to end these exploitation practices."
Markey has worked with Hawley before introducing changes to the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) to extend the protection of data privacy to minors online This legislation would create a "draft button" to Parents delete all their children's data from the related service.
"Today's digital entertainment ecosystem is an online glove for children," Markey said of the bot box bill. n. "The game features inherently manipulable, which in turn benefits children and make time game time payment should be out of bounds".
The pressure to regulate the loot boxes and the mechanics of payment to win has continued to increase over the course of recent years. Boot boxes and microtransactions have become prominent features in both mobile games and those created by triple-A studios such as Blizzard and Electronic Arts. Just this week, Nintendo was forced to withdraw two games that contained the characteristics of the Belgian market because they violated the regulations of the country's booty box.
"I am proud to sponsor this bipartisan legislation to protect children from predatory game apps and blame bad actors for their reprehensible practices," Blumenthal said. "Congress should send a clear warning to application developers and technology companies: children are not commercial cows to exploit for profit. "
It is noteworthy that Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH), who first expressed concern about the loot boxes last fall. a hearing with the Federal Trade Commission, is currently not a co-sponsor of the bill.