Briefly: For all the fun video games bring to people, there are a lot of negatives associated with the medium, including loot boxes, gold farming, and addiction. The EU has just voted to take action against these and other issues, though what that will entail remains unclear.
according Gamesindustry.bizThe European Parliament voted to adopt a report that “highlights the positives of this leading industry, but also the social risks that we need to keep in mind, such as the impact of gaming on mental health,” said MEP Adriana Maldonado-López, who led the report.
One of these dangers is loot boxes, which have always been a controversial area. The EU Commission will analyze the impact of loot boxes and claims for in-game purchases, and take action if necessary.
A Norwegian consumer watchdog report last year concluded that loot box mechanics in games are predatory and exploit consumers. The report paid consumer watchdogs to 18 other countries To call for stricter regulation of games involving loot boxes.
The EU Commission will investigate whether gold farming can be linked to financial crimes and human rights abuses. The report also called for the adoption of regulatory measures on games that allow players to create their own content to protect users, especially minors, from illegal practices. Furthermore, it wants to put an end to illegal practices that allow anyone to swap, sell or bet on in-game and third party sites (for leather betting).
Much of the report focuses on the European Game Information (PEGI) age rating system, which is essentially the European Union’s version of the ESRB rating system. MEP members want it to become a mandatory age rating system for all games in the single market. They also want to provide standard labels for information such as the theme of the game, in-game purchase options, and the presence of pop-up ads.
Not all of the report focuses on the worst elements of the games. He requests the creation of a European video game strategy to boost the industry and “help unleash its full potential”. It proposes the creation of a new annual European online video game award and recognizes how games can help with education, mental health and other aspects of life.
These are all just recommendations of course. We’ll have to wait and see when, how, and if any are implemented.