Video games are more advanced, beautiful, and arguably overall better than they were 5 or 10 years ago. Still, this progress didn't come without a price; and one could argue, it was a significant one.
In recent years, most big video game developers started offering players opportunities to get additional content or made the game easier by paying extra money on top of the one they already gave for purchasing the game. This led to a system of loot boxes and microtransactions, which became so aggressive lately that it gets pretty hard to ignore it. But, if US Senator Josh Hawley ends up getting it his way, we might not have to put up with this any longer.
Hawley recently proposed a bill that might ban loot boxes and microtransactions in video games in the United States. Although his bill would affect only video games targeted to minors, this might end up making a huge impact on the entire industry.
"Social media and video games prey on user addiction, siphoning our kids' attention from the real world and extracting profits from fostering compulsive habits," – said Senator Hawley in a statement. "No matter this business model's advantages to the tech industry, one thing is clear: there is no excuse for exploiting children through such practices. When a game is designed for kids, game developers shouldn't be allowed to monetize addiction. Game developers who knowingly exploit children should face legal consequences."
While Hawley's bill is far from being close to reality, since it first needs to get an approval in the Senate and then be passed in House of Representatives, it is still encouraging to see someone fighting against this alarming practice.