Protecting Children from Abusive Games Act

Ars Technica has details on the Protecting Children from Abusive Games Act, a bill being put forth by U.S. Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) to regulate loot boxes, microtransactions, and other ways to monetize games targeted at children. They note that this still has a long way to go before being signed into law (here's a refresher on that aspect of this) and also have a reaction from the ESA, who unsurprisingly, are not enthusiastic. The Senator's office has distributed this one-pager to outline how this proposes to regulate games targeting minors or that knowingly allow minors to engage in microtransactions:
In such games, this bill would prohibit several forms of manipulative design:

Loot Boxes

  • Microtransactions offering randomized or partially randomized rewards to players


  • Manipulation of a game’s progression system – typically by building artificial difficulty or other barriers into game progression – to induce players to spend money on microtransactions to advance through content supposedly available to them at no additional cost
  • Pay-to-win - Manipulation of the competitive balance between players of multiplayer games by allowing players who purchase microtransactions competitive advantages over other players


  • These rules would be enforced by the Federal Trade Commission, which would treat the distribution of such games by publishers and online distributors as an unfair trade practice.
  • State attorneys general would also be empowered to file suit to defend the residents of their states.

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Re: Protecting Children from Abusive Games Act
May 9, 2019, 08:59
Re: Protecting Children from Abusive Games Act May 9, 2019, 08:59
May 9, 2019, 08:59
jdreyer wrote on May 8, 2019, 20:23:
Introduced by a Republican? Wha...?

* Googles rep *

Ah, young naive guy still full of optimism and logic. His elders will soon disabuse him of these notions, and explain how such laws restrict corporate "freedom" and profits. This bill will soon be withdrawn.

Indeed, they'll probably just need to point, say "SJW", laugh and bam, bill will disappear.

I was quite surprised no one mentioned this label in the comments yet btw. I was expecting the usual Rep/Right cultists to shout it at the 1st opportunity.

And yes, I agree with others here, this shouldn't be framed as somethihng about kids, but as a general psychological manipulation issue. But if we go down that road, we'll have to talk about "real" gambling too... Decisions, decisions...
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 Re: Protecting Children from Abusive Games Act