Federal government proposes new classification guidelines for games with loot boxes
A key mechanism in online gaming popular with children is being targeted by the Federal Coalition as part of a proposed crackdown on classification unveiled by Communications Secretary Paul Fletcher on Wednesday.
The proposed new classification guidelines include introducing a minimum classification rating for games that contain “loot boxes”.
Loot Crates are virtual items that players can redeem for a variety of other virtual mystery items, including weapons, armor, and customization options for their avatar, such as. B. Costumes. They gained popularity as game developers tried to generate more money through in-game purchases.
Players can win Loot Boxes by completing in-game tasks, but they can also purchase them. In popular games including halo 5 and RobloxLoot boxes can cost players up to hundreds of dollars, with the ability to cash out the “winnings” by selling redeemed items in real-world marketplaces.
Experts and parents have raised concerns about gambling, including those involving loot boxes, as it poses gambling risks such as overspending.
Professor Sally Gainsbury, researcher in gambling psychology at the University of Sydney, narrated The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age There have been risks in exposing young people to this type of gambling, including increasing the likelihood that they will develop a positive impression of betting. “You could [then] be interested in seeking more gambling opportunities, potentially focusing on those loot boxes and developing problem gambling habits,” she said.
Gainsbury said along with Dr. Aaron Drummond, an associate professor of psychology at Massey University, said there was no conclusive research showing that playing these games led people to develop problem gambling habits.
Another risk of playing with loot boxes, especially for young people, is the impact on their spending.
Spending on loot boxes by people without problematic gaming symptoms averages between $2 and $8, according to Drummond. And the figure is closer to $13 (US$18) for those classified as problem gamblers. Drummond said the average was also skewed by the fact that some people were spending more than several hundred dollars a month on the mechanism.