Video games have been in the limelight for some time now, given entire news outlets are dedicated to that hobby. Evolving from the likes of basic Pong all the way to large-scale events like eSports, this activity has become a main staple in the lives of many people, many lying in the young adult and below category. However, with the recent controversy of Loot Boxes and what they mean going forward into this industry, video games are becoming more and more akin to something that many would not compare them to slot machines.
Now the system of microtransactions have been in video-games since the dawn of DLC and its use has been a common complaint by gamer and parent alike. It has served as a barrier to additional content, but it is a business practice that people have grown accustomed to. In fact, looking at the current prices of video games hasn't budged an inch when it really should; Extra Credit, a channel on Youtube, explains this dilemma in a much more elegant way.
However, loot boxes, this new microtransaction on the shelf, has introduced another hurdle to customers: chance. The randomization of what a paying customer would receive entices buyers similar to how gamblers go to a casino.
Recently, the eerie similarity between the two, especially when people under the legal gambling age can buy these items, has become a topic of debate as to the legality of the situation. Politicians like Chris Lee have quickly come to this (either as a result of easy votes or genuine care) as a topic of urgency and has made attempts to resolve the difficulties by placing those games under gambling laws, thereby restricting them to adults.
This comes with difficulties on its own but raises more questions. If this set of rules is implemented, would the owners under the legal age be committing felonies? Would this be regulated per state then? How badly would this hemorrhage video game sales for the companies?
This leaves a lot of room for discussion going into this, but this was a just a basic run down of the topic. This would affect a large majority of people, and many more than just the customers; I just hope awareness of this topic is more well-known when this evolves into a discussion point for the nation as a whole.