One pair of bills, House Bill 2686 and Senate Bill 3024, would prohibit the sale of any game featuring a system wherein players can purchase a randomized reward using real money to anyone younger than 21 years old.
The other two bills, House Bill 2727 and Senate Bill 3025, would require video game publishers to prominently label games containing such randomized purchase systems, as well as disclose the probability rates of receiving each loot box reward.
“Whistleblowers have revealed that psychologists are employed to create these mechanisms,” [State Rep. Chris Lee] said.
EDIT: "We don't need this, it's needless... the games industry isn't exploiting anything or being insidious"
Insidious: proceeding in a gradual, subtle way, but with very harmful effects.
These loot boxes and microtransactions are becoming increasingly "silent but deadly"... you don't really notice it, because it's completely designed to be subconscious, but they do a number of things.
They dissassociate the end user with their money by converting it from money to chips... or in this case in-game currency. It's even more effective than chips because you can't touch it. And when you're messing around and spending 1500 helix credits as opposed to 15 USD, you're going to be a bit more liberal.
Secondly, when you're buying MTX, you're not spending 10 dollars. You're spending 2.50 dollars 4 times, independent of each other. There's a psychological disconnect there. "Oh, it's just another 2.50. I can spend that much."
Many whales end up paying more for these useless in-game items in trashy mobile games than one would for a game plus season pass on launch day.
Animations and sounds are designed to activate dopamine systems in the brain. And of course, this effect is only bolstered by the fact that you have an often unknown percentage chance of getting any one item, not dissimilar from slot machines in your average casino.
These games often require you to be toured around and periodically return to the in-game storefronts where you can buy these MTX/loot boxes, in order to subconsciously condition the mind into thinking that it's normal... hoping to eventually get money out of you.
This is before thinking about the many patents for microtransaction "engines" that alter things like matchmaking under the hood to psychologically convince players to spend money on in-game items that publishers like Activision and EA have patented.
All of these things culminate in more cash being milked out of the easily exploited and even out of the people who don't generally have addiction problems.
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