One of the biggest topics of 2018 circle around the nature of loot boxes and whether or not they should be regulated in some way. Many companies out there have been abusing this predatory practice to swindle more and more money from their consumers with less effort. I think that the removal of Loot boxes is definitely a good thing.
Loot boxes are known for having an addictive nature. Experts online have already pointed out that the mechanics they follow are very similar to the one’s casinos all over the world use. The thrill of not knowing what comes next keeps people paying.
While many could agree that loot boxes have to be either regulated or banned in whole—me being one of them—there might be some consequence in giving governments the authority to handle them. This is something we should all be aware of.
Keep in mind that I’m not talking about loot boxes themselves, but what comes after should any kind of regulation surrounding their nature be enforced by the government. Having politics meddle in this might have a snowball effect in the future.
You know how quick the media is to blame any kind of violence on video games. Who’s to say that loot boxes are the only things that are going to be regulated in the future?
What happens when some politician starts a ruckus on how sex scenes in video games should be taken away or how first-person shooters should be censored because they make our children violent? Keep in mind that the same excuse was used against the nature of loot boxes. Why not do this on other features of video games that can “encourage” bad behavior as well?
Politicians will say anything they want to win people over, even if it means pretending they know the cause of a problem. This isn’t the first time fingers have been pointed over video games as the cause of a disturbing crime.
If the governments of the world have video games under a microscope for loot box practices, their attention can easily turn to other aspects of a game.
So does this mean we should tolerate loot boxes and keep them around? Of course not. But it may be wise to keep in mind that we may be opening a whole new can of worms. We may have found ourselves in a Morton’s Fork situation where no matter which road we take, it will always end up badly for us.
Why it’s Bad…
Think about your favorite games with mature themes. Imagine any first-person shooting games being censored because it inspires school shooting. Think about creative freedom being taken away from the hands of game developers just because of politicians who don’t quite understand what they’re saying.
I can definitely get along with the fact that loot boxes are gone for good, but as always, there will be more challenges in the future that we’ll all need to overcome; We end up crawling out of one hole and right down into another.
Keep in mind, that we may be facing government authority in the future; Today’s allies become tomorrow’s enemies. The people can fight over what rights are okay or not. Even when it’s clear that video games aren’t the problem, government officials can point fingers in an effort to make it look like they have a solution even to a problem that doesn’t exist.
No matter how many issues we fix, another always pops up. If loot boxes are gone, my fear is that something worse will come to replace them. The fight for fair use will never be over.
I’ve always been pessimistic when it comes to these sorts of topics, meaning that I can’t stop thinking there’s always going to be a catch whenever something good starts to happen. The possibility that potentially good games will be affected by government meddling is pretty scary. Can the regulation of loot boxes start other forms of regulation when it comes to gaming? You tell me.