15 Countries and 1 State Pledge to Regulate Lootboxes

Discussion in '[H]ard|OCP Front Page News' started by AlphaAtlas, Sep 17, 2018.

  1. AlphaAtlas

    AlphaAtlas Gawd Staff Member

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    At the 2018 Gambling Regulators European Forum, 15 European countries, along with Washington State, signed an agreement to "work together to address the risks created by the blurring of lines between gaming and gambling." The focus of the agreement is to crack down on illegal 3rd party gambling sites, but the countries involved also want to "ensure that features within games, such as loot boxes, do not constitute gambling under national laws." The agreement represents a reversal of the previous policies of some countries, with the UK, France, Spain, and Poland all being part of the agreement. Several publishers recently fought Belgium's stand against in-game lootboxes, but what they'll do against this united effort remains to be seen.

    "Unlicensed websites offering skins betting can pop up at any time and children could be gambling with money intended for computer game products," McArthur stated. "We encourage video games companies to work with their gambling regulators and take action now to address those concerns to make sure that consumers, and particularly children, are protected."
     
  2. filip

    filip Gawd

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    Man all gambling should be illegal, you never win. Adults have gambling problems and they are of age, a kid gambling is far worse.
     
  3. Nebell

    Nebell [H]ard|Gawd

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    Good.
    Now if they could also start to regulate those lame F2P mobile games, they are even worse.
     
  4. pcgeekesq

    pcgeekesq [H]ard|Gawd

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    You want to get rid of the stock market? Not let people short Tesla stock anymore?
    And get rid of cryptocurrencies? Well, I could accept that.

    Every executory contract is a gamble.
    For example, let's say you contract to buy 1000 widgets at $10 each next month.
    You're gambling that the price won't drop.
    If widgets are $9 each next month, your contract cost you $1000.
    If widgets are $11 each next month, your contract won you $1000.

    So really, gambling is part of life. But that doesn't mean all gambling should be legal.
     
  5. ole-m

    ole-m Limp Gawd

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    I hate lootboxes, it's usually shaped the entire game so it feels like cancer and a casino rather than a game....

    and the more money they make on it the more emphasis they will make on lootboxes and not the actual content of the game...
    Many gamers talk more about the skin they're using rather than the game they're playing... lol...
     
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  6. filip

    filip Gawd

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    The gambling I am referring to is a pure game of chance. The stock market is not a pure game of chance even though some may view it that way. When you buy stocks you can make informed decisions based off of available information the same can be said for a lot choices in life but once again you have available information which should help you make an informed decision. On the other hand, a game of chance has no information other than a percentage of you winning which is usually lest than 1% for something big. How many life decisions and even stock purchases are made on less than 1% certainty on a daily basis, I would say not a lot for someone with something on their shoulders.
     
  7. Master_shake_

    Master_shake_ Little Bitch

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    obviously he meant games of chance.
     
  8. theBrownLlama

    theBrownLlama Gawd

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    you mean, business activities carries risk of non-profit. well, of course..
     
  9. JosiahBradley

    JosiahBradley [H]ard|Gawd

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    I'm so glad we finally stopped war, murder, rape, famine, and disease, and are moving on to the real problems: Fake cosmetic items in video games.
     
  10. harbingerofdoom

    harbingerofdoom Gawd

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    i agree with clamping down on lootboxs at least a bit.
    but nothing makes me want to back away from something more than ever when they trot out "for the kids"

    for the kids = 2 things usually
    1. we already have plenty of laws on the books to address whatever it is and we're doing another one "for the kids" so we can get some much needed political grandstanding in
    2. its not for the kids, it will never be for the kids and 'for the kids' was tagged onto it in order to gain public support which would otherwise not be there.
     
  11. Dead Parrot

    Dead Parrot [H]ard|Gawd

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    Make the game publishers post in an easy to find place the list of items found in each type of loot box and odds of getting those times. The publishers do things that make it seem like the odds of getting a special item are on par with the chance of getting a pair in poker, when the real odds are worse then the odds of a royal flush.

    Agree with the "For the Kids" thing. At some point, parents need to step in and just limit the screen time or block access to troublesome games.
     
  12. HockeyJon

    HockeyJon Gawd

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    Except that’s not a fair comparison, because animal spirits notwithstanding, an investment can be intelligently selected based on things like balance sheets and valuation metrics. You can’t apply that to, say, a lottery scratch card, or a bet on a sports team. It’s a different approach. Investing has strategies that enable risk mitigation/capital preservation and have a much different time horizon than your typical gambling venture.
     
  13. bigdogchris

    bigdogchris Wii was a Novelty

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    Bravo to the GC for taking ownership of a problem and working to provide an answer to an issue!
     
  14. bugleyman

    bugleyman [H]ard|Gawd

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    So ignore the others til we put a stop to war, eh? Since we're taking them in order... :rolleyes:

    And to be clear, I'm not saying I agree (or disagree) with loot box regulations; just that your argument is, well, terrible.
     
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  15. Derfman

    Derfman [H]ard|Gawd

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    Unless you've been hiding under a rock this whole time, when this issue came to a head it was more than just cosmetic based loot box games that were in the spotlight.

    Also, sure let's wait till all of humanities inherent flaws and terrible issues are resolved before we ever focus on anything else that could be resolved in less than one's lifetime.
     
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  16. pcgeekesq

    pcgeekesq [H]ard|Gawd

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    True, but that's mainly because it can be manipulated. And is.

    Many people enjoy games of chance. The losses they take playing them are the cost of that entertainment, and most people keep those losses reasonable. Banning games of chance is just puritanical nanny-statism: the usual we-know-whats-best-for-you BS indulged in by liberals and conservatives alike.

    It's their money. You have no right to tell them what entertainment they should buy with it, and unlike some other entertainment options, no one else is inherently harmed by gambling.
     
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  17. alxlwson

    alxlwson You Know Where I Live

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    How are loot boxes any different than buying a pack of Pokemon cards and not getting a Charizard, or buying an unopened box of '68 Tops and not getting the Ryan/Coosman rookie card?
     
  18. pcgeekesq

    pcgeekesq [H]ard|Gawd

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    Actually, you can, and anyone who knows even the smallest amount about PowerBall knows it.

    PowerBall has an accumulating jackpot. If no one wins it for long enough, the expected return on a lottery ticket exceeds the cost of the lottery ticket. In the past, syndicates have formed that waited until the jackpot was high enough on such a game, and bought every single number combination, guaranteeing they'd win. And they did.

    In a like vein, betting on standardbreds (especially pacers, as opposed to trotters) is as much skill as luck, although some luck is involved. Knowing the history of each horse on the track conditions, seeing the horses' attittude as it does the warm up lap, you can figure out with a high degree of certainty which horses will finish in the top three. My wife never lost money betting on standardbreds except when she decided to be have some fun by betting based just on the horse's name.

    Even loot boxes can be intelligent investments, depending on the cost of the box, the probability of getting each item, and the current resale value of the items.

    The line between skill and luck isn't a bright one. How much skill should gambling require to escape being banned?
     
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  19. pcgeekesq

    pcgeekesq [H]ard|Gawd

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    Why?

    Most gamers I've known would be better off wasting their money on loot boxes than buying donuts and potato chips with it.
     
  20. filip

    filip Gawd

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    You are right people can spend money on it as entertainment even if they are being robbed and on that ground it should not be banned. But gambling to "win" that is not right, people do get hurt by that it's almost like they are drug addicts but in regard to gambling.
     
  21. Comixbooks

    Comixbooks Ignore Me

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    I'll be first in like to take the Battle Royale Fortnite pill that makes you play RPG games instead.
     
  22. pcgeekesq

    pcgeekesq [H]ard|Gawd

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    Why not?

    BTW, pay-to-win is pretty common and widely accepted by the player base in the big Asian MMOs.
    Don't know why. Maybe they don't feel as entitled.
     
  23. filip

    filip Gawd

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    Why not? Because they don't win unless they are the luckiest sob and that can cause someone to get a gambling addiction. Or, they spend more money than an Apple fan, and they got robbed.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2018
  24. DukenukemX

    DukenukemX 2[H]4U

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    Stock market is less of a gamble, cause you knew what you were getting yourself into. Putting money into a company who makes sex dolls is not really a gamble, cause you know they make sex dolls. If VR porn takes business away from sex dolls, that's not gambling, that's just business.

    Cryptocurrency is also not a gamble, just another type of fiat money. Which fiat money has no real value. You convert your dollar to euro and the euro's value dropped, that's not a gamble that's just fiat money.
    The difference between business and gambling is that "gambling" in the sense of lottery like system is designed to take your money away. Playing a scratch off game or playing your local lottery is a system designed that the house always wins. You as a participant have a better chance of getting hit by lightening than winning the lottery.

    Loot boxes use the same tactics as lottery systems in that it has to balance it out to trick you to continue to play. If you press a button and it rewards you every time, you don't press the button until only you need it. If you pres the button and it never rewards you, then you'll never press the button. Lottery systems will reward you randomly like $5 or $10 to keep you playing, cause it preys on your stupid brains inability to see that it is getting played.

    Loot boxes do the same exact thing, except that you're gambling something worth nothing. Nought, nil, nada, nothing, zero, zilch, zip. Digital goods are intrinsically worthless. Make matters worse, things we've taken for granted in games are now randomly purchasable. Want a new skin for your character? Too bad, you have to randomly win one of our skins.

    base.gif
     
  25. bugleyman

    bugleyman [H]ard|Gawd

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    The expected return depends upon the number of people participating in a given draw (note I didn't say the odds of winning, but the expected return). Higher jackpot = more players = higher chance of having to split the jackpot (which kills the return).

    If coming out ahead were as simple as you implied, then states would not continue to offer lotteries. Even those who don't know anything about the PowerBall should know that.... ;)
     
  26. pcgeekesq

    pcgeekesq [H]ard|Gawd

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    By that logic, next you'll be proposing to ban video games because people can (and do) get addicted to them.
     
  27. filip

    filip Gawd

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    My logic dose not matter that is apparent. To me these companies are like tv preachers that want donations, robbing idiots of their money and giving them nothing of value in return and they are doing this legally with minors on games that according to ESRB are for their age groups.
     
  28. DeathFromBelow

    DeathFromBelow [H]ardForum Junkie

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    You don't see a whole lot of people who have ruined their lives because they felt an uncontrollable compulsion to buy every video game on Steam. Video games can provide an unhealthy form of escapism, but pathological gambling is an infinite money pit exacerbated by various known cognitive biases (some of which you've demonstrated in this thread with your stock market and powerball arguments) as well as pleasurable impulsive and risk-seeking behavior.

    Loot boxes and micro-transactions hit those same buttons in the brain and generate a shit-ton of revenue from vulnerable people.
     
  29. Tak Ne

    Tak Ne [H]ard|Gawd

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    Yes lootboxes are a big problem and it would be nice if they went away but that is never going to happen now that game companies know how profitable they are.
    I'd honestly be happy if they were forced to display the odds for every possible loot drop and were required to have the RNG system independently audited.
    That way you know exactly what you're paying for.
     
  30. singe_101

    singe_101 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Yes they aren't messing around, and they bind the items to your account. Cards can get worn down but at least they can be sold or you could just buy an entire deck for $50 instead of multiple Apocalypse boxes and hoping.

    Plus $10 cosmetics aren't rated as expensive these days.
     
  31. lcpiper

    lcpiper [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Oh, you know someone who actually chooses between the two?

    It's my expectation that one can afford both, and if the persons let's something go ...... it's usually more in line with their relationships with other people.

    And I'm teasing just in case I wasn't clear about that :barefoot:
     
  32. tetris42

    tetris42 [H]ardness Supreme

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    Because those are all real things that still retain value to some + you're still receiving an item. Most games with microtransactions shut down after a few years leaving you with absolutely nothing.
     
  33. pcgeekesq

    pcgeekesq [H]ard|Gawd

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    Oh please, don't pretend video game addiction isn't harmful.
    I've seen people lose their jobs because they spent too much time playing video games.
     
  34. Tak Ne

    Tak Ne [H]ard|Gawd

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    It most certainly can be. Fortnite is being blamed for 200 divorces here in the UK. Thats around 5% of all divorces filed on that site. The story also mentions a study into video games and mental health that found 0.3% of gamers might experience problems controlling the time they spend playing.
     
  35. Todd Walter

    Todd Walter Limp Gawd

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    Because you are purchasing ten random cards in the pack as advertised (and in some cases, a stick of gum). That there is a market for cards after the first sale isn't the manufacturers' problem and is why they get away with it.
     
  36. alxlwson

    alxlwson You Know Where I Live

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    Do you not get a fixed number of randomized items in the loot boxes?
     
  37. Todd Walter

    Todd Walter Limp Gawd

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    They aren't physical, which is always important to to the lawyers (the basic tenet is that you get something for something), and software is considered licensed not purchased. Not helping is that the common presumption is still that video games are for kids even though we know that's not been the case for a long time. Pinball machines got caught up in something similar a long time ago. It's why you see warning signs in arcades in some jurisdictions that state explicitly that you are paying to be amused and not for the chance to win something (think skee-ball machines). I can remember everybody getting riled about in the '90s when kids were buying baseball cards by the case to find the Griffy, too. Every time something new comes along there's some politician looking to capitalize on it. Strangely enough they're never interested in the root cause, marketing via psychological tricks; I can only guess why!:rolleyes:
     
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  38. pcgeekesq

    pcgeekesq [H]ard|Gawd

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    Nonsense. Physicality has nothing to do with it. A copyright isn't physical. A trademark isn't physical. A patent isn't physical. Yet just one of these can be worth tens of millions of dollars in a court of law, if not more.

    Digital assets are still assets, and lawyers definitely think of them as "something." I paid over $100K and spent thousands of hours working to get a bit in a database flipped (the bit that says I received a law degree from a top-10 law school), and believe me, that bit is definitely "something," and far more valuable than the physical paper diploma I also received.

    Disclaimer: this is not legal advice and you are not my client.
     
  39. tetris42

    tetris42 [H]ardness Supreme

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    You have a point, yet calling these "assets" doesn't work either. Pray tell, what do lawyers think of these "assets" when the company shut down the game a few years later that somebody paid thousands of dollars for items in that they literally can't access anymore? At least with baseball cards, you still have the cards.
     
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  40. SixFootDuo

    SixFootDuo [H]ardness Supreme

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    Let's just be real with one another. Be honest. Loot boxes are a tool to bring in additional revenue that game companies invited. The people that defend loot boxes are just ignorant, it really is that simple. There is no amount of explaining, validation anyone could possible ever do to me to ever get me to change my mind. I have Jedi's mind in the BS dept. You will never ever win.
     
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