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UK parliamentary inquiry recommends regulating loot boxes

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A nine-month parliamentary inquiry by the UK's Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport resulted in an 84-page report based on evidence taken from game developers, trade bodies, and academics, though it claimed there was a "lack of honesty and transparency" among game company representatives.

The committee chair, MP Damian Collins, took issue with the position of the UK Gambling Commission—which has repeatedly stated that loot boxes aren't gambling (opens in new tab)—saying that gaming companies need to be more responsible, and if the government wants to maintain their current stance, that loot boxes should be exempt from the gambling act, they need to publish a paper explaining why.

The committee also recommended the gambling content warning label be applied to games, with a corresponding age limit. 

The inquiry wasn't just investigating the connection between loot boxes and gambling, however. It also called for the games industry to support research into the "long-term effects of gaming", and criticized the implementation of age-verification systems more generally.

Thanks, GamesIndustry.biz (opens in new tab).

Jody Macgregor
Weekend/AU Editor

Jody's first computer was a Commodore 64, so he remembers having to use a code wheel to play Pool of Radiance. A former music journalist who interviewed everyone from Giorgio Moroder to Trent Reznor, Jody also co-hosted Australia's first radio show about videogames, Zed Games (opens in new tab). He's written for Rock Paper Shotgun (opens in new tab), The Big Issue, GamesRadar (opens in new tab), Zam (opens in new tab), Glixel (opens in new tab), Five Out of Ten Magazine (opens in new tab), and Playboy.com (opens in new tab), whose cheques with the bunny logo made for fun conversations at the bank. Jody's first article for PC Gamer was published in 2015, he edited PC Gamer Indie from 2017 to 2018, and he eventually lived up to his promise to play every Warhammer videogame.