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NEWS 12 September 2019

MPs call for loot boxes to be banned

By Nathan Joyes

A committee of MPs wants loot boxes banned for children and in-game spending to be regulated by gambling laws.

The MPs have accused certain free video games of encouraging players to purchase virtual loot boxes.

These loot boxes have an unknown quantity of items within them, presenting an opportunity for a player to progress within the game.

Jagex, the company behind online game RuneScape, announced certain players were spending up to £1,000 ($1,232) per week on loot boxes.

Damian Collins, Chair of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, said: "Social media platforms and online games makers are locked in a relentless battle to capture ever-more of people’s attention, time and money.

"But it’s time for them to be more responsible in dealing with the harms these technologies can cause for some users."

Dr. Jo Twist, CEO of UK Interactive Entertainment, said: "The video games industry has always, and will continue to, put the welfare of players at the heart of what we do.

"The industry does not dispute that, for a minority, finding balance is a problem."

RELATED TAGS: Online | Legal & Regulatory
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