It’s sometimes fascinating to watch other governments operate with relative efficiency, and look enviously at those that are most likely set to benefit from having a competent government soundly in place.
We’re back to the discussion of Electronic Arts and their inclusions of loot boxes namely in their FIFA series, that appears to many as though it has been constructed to encourage gambling on card packs to be able to win more in online matches in the game mode ‘FIFA Ultimate Team‘.
This is not the first time that Electronic Arts is being called by courts to change their pricing model that many have condemned as ‘predatory’ and is likely the first step into gambling for many young soccer players that are simply eager to play as the greats on a digital pitch.
— Will Nelson (@WillNelson1998) July 2, 2020
The UK Government has opened up a public consult, requesting users familiar with loot boxes (with specific attention being paid to FIFA) within the United Kingdom to make their voice heard and further understand user implications and consequences that are experienced while dealing with, what a court in the Netherlands called, a ‘disgusting practice’.
In the United States, it’s admittedly a far cry; the ESRB decided that in-game gambling, where you pay real money for a chance at a return, deserves a limp-wristed warning that adults purchasing the titles for their kids would be hard-pressed to understand. Further, it doesn’t even merit an increase in ratings: FIFA is still listed as E, for everyone.
Some communities have taken this as an opportunity, banding together to discuss and warn users about in-game gambling that is dodged by lawyers as ‘surprise mechanics’ since it’s pulling in over a billion dollars annually for Electronic Arts alone.
If you live in the UK, today is the last day you can provide feedback to the government about how loot boxes have harmed you and the game industry. https://t.co/4xq5LY69Yo
— DreamWarden[RETIRED] (@RequiemWings_AE) November 21, 2020
Thankfully, other ratings boards and governments are a bit more polished, and it’s still possible that a hard press from eastern nations could result in a wide-spread change that could ripple back across the pond; that’s the prevalent (and desperate) hope at the moment, anyways.
The UK public consultation is set to close at 2359 on November 22, 2020, at which point the court will begin to sort and analyze the offered evidence.
The government has offered both forms and open-ended questionnaires that users within the United Kingdom can use to forward their sentiments on the matter, available on their website here.
This is a rare chance to talk directly with officials about a complex technology that, some posit, has taken advantage of young users for far too long. Don’t let the opportunity slip.