Forums » Off-Topic Discussions

pay to win legislation

    • 2 posts
    May 9, 2019 8:06 PM PDT

    https://wolfstreet.com/2019/05/09/us-senator-aims-at-big-gaming-tries-to-ban-loot-boxes-pay-to-win-puts-50-billion-in-revenues-at-risk-heres-how-gamers-reacted/

     

    a potential ban on the most lucrative (and exploitive) monetization mechanics – with wide bipartisan popular support – these corporations may have to go back to basics, do some serious soul searching, and try to regain their core fans with quality products, against a fan-base which is largely feel disinclined to make amends after years of mistreatment.

    • 700 posts
    May 9, 2019 8:09 PM PDT

    people love their p2w and gambling.

    • 1310 posts
    May 10, 2019 4:15 AM PDT

    I'd be fine with those kind of working practices being banned.  Not looking forward to the day I go into a shop to buy some milk and have to gamble three times to get it, but I might win a car!

    Then again, I also be fine if they'd ban horse/dog racing and casinos, etc...

    • 951 posts
    May 10, 2019 4:58 AM PDT

    This is likely going to get moved to off topic but that legislation does have a few interesting ideas.  One of the keys is that it appears that the Senator is trying to distinguish between games aimed at children and games aimed at adults.  I can appreciate the desire to protect minors from the targeted compulsion of micro transactions and the addictive nature of random results.

    My primary argument against legislating away loot boxes is that loot boxes are very similar to Magic the Gathering card packs and other similar youth targeted random collectibles.  In my mind there is very little difference between a perception driven valuable digital object and a perception driven piece of card stock.  Most of the value is due to enforced rarity that is intended to drive increased sales.

    The closest I could see a new game rating system that in addition to age rating the game will also have a microtransaction pay to win rating.  Cosmetic only, minor boosts to speed content, and exclusive game tools (true pay to win).  I could see a user age lock on true pay to win but the rest should not be nanny stated.

    • 873 posts
    May 10, 2019 6:25 AM PDT

    $15/month flat fee so everyone is on equal footing and no one has an advantage in any way beyond the work they are willing to put in.


    This post was edited by bigdogchris at May 10, 2019 6:25 AM PDT
    • 14 posts
    May 10, 2019 7:47 AM PDT

    bigdogchris said:

    $15/month flat fee so everyone is on equal footing and no one has an advantage in any way beyond the work they are willing to put in.

     

    This is as far as I'll go as well ;)

    • 90 posts
    May 10, 2019 7:51 AM PDT
    Just take a look at modern kids toy lines and this legislation won't hold water.
    Everything marketed at kids these days is all blind buy and enforced rarity collectible toys.
    It's not often a new toy line comes out that doesn't encourage addictive behaviors and gambling.

    I'd like to see more enforcement across the board from all companies utilizing predatory practices to addict children to their products.
    • 1039 posts
    May 10, 2019 9:30 AM PDT

    I despise PTW and all that garabage, but they are a private company and they can sell the product in any way they like. If people don't like it, don't buy the product. Are people so incredibly irresponsible, so ignorant, so unintelligent that they can no longer make decisions for themselves? The world has gone insane.


    This post was edited by Tanix at May 10, 2019 9:36 AM PDT
    • 1039 posts
    May 10, 2019 9:34 AM PDT

    Ghool said: Just take a look at modern kids toy lines and this legislation won't hold water. Everything marketed at kids these days is all blind buy and enforced rarity collectible toys. It's not often a new toy line comes out that doesn't encourage addictive behaviors and gambling. I'd like to see more enforcement across the board from all companies utilizing predatory practices to addict children to their products.

    There are no victims when there is an ability to make an informed choice, just people making poor decisions and you can't legislate that away without disregarding the liberties of individuals who do make informed decisions.

    • 2466 posts
    May 10, 2019 11:05 AM PDT

    Trasak said:

    This is likely going to get moved to off topic but that legislation does have a few interesting ideas.  One of the keys is that it appears that the Senator is trying to distinguish between games aimed at children and games aimed at adults.  I can appreciate the desire to protect minors from the targeted compulsion of micro transactions and the addictive nature of random results.

    My primary argument against legislating away loot boxes is that loot boxes are very similar to Magic the Gathering card packs and other similar youth targeted random collectibles.  In my mind there is very little difference between a perception driven valuable digital object and a perception driven piece of card stock.  Most of the value is due to enforced rarity that is intended to drive increased sales.

    The closest I could see a new game rating system that in addition to age rating the game will also have a microtransaction pay to win rating.  Cosmetic only, minor boosts to speed content, and exclusive game tools (true pay to win).  I could see a user age lock on true pay to win but the rest should not be nanny stated.

    It's more an advertising standards issue.

    You can’t advertise kids toys during the same program where the character is featured. So for example, you can’t advertise Pokemon merchandise during an episode of Pokemon since it is seen as cynical and manipulative.

    With games however you are watching the show, playing with the toy and all the time the related merchandise is being shown, advertised and wouldn’t you know it the shop is integrated too.

    Similarly the hard sell tricks that all these games use, limited time discounts, two for ones, limited time only products etc are banned from use during kids programming.

     

    Though I am of the opinion that it really shouldn't stop at the door of kids, many adults are just as succeptable to such manipulation and I'd like to see predatory psychological advertising/marketing reined in. 

     

    *I think a key difference between Magic and loot boxes is that you are getting something "new" when you open magic packs, even if it is just more of the same cards you have it means you can often at least build a new deck in a different way or play differently based on the additions or even sell/trade/give them away. Loot boxes give nothing new at all, they offer only cosmetic redesigns that change nothing gameplay wise and they cannot be traded or sold. 


    This post was edited by Iksar at May 10, 2019 11:26 AM PDT
    • 700 posts
    May 10, 2019 11:19 AM PDT

    Tanix said:

    Ghool said: Just take a look at modern kids toy lines and this legislation won't hold water. Everything marketed at kids these days is all blind buy and enforced rarity collectible toys. It's not often a new toy line comes out that doesn't encourage addictive behaviors and gambling. I'd like to see more enforcement across the board from all companies utilizing predatory practices to addict children to their products.

    There are no victims when there is an ability to make an informed choice, just people making poor decisions and you can't legislate that away without disregarding the liberties of individuals who do make informed decisions.

    Most all P2W schemes I've ever seen incorporate some random aspect which essentially makes it gambling. 

    • 469 posts
    May 10, 2019 11:37 AM PDT

    First, let me express my undying hatred for the loot box game model. With that out of the way, some concerns.

    Any time that legislation becomes involved there's always the danger of unintended consequences through badly worded bills. Take this for example:

    "Loot boxes, incorporated both in free and paid games, offer players randomized rewards for spending money, combining the addictive properties of pay-to-win with the compulsive behavior inherent in other forms of gambling."

    While that seems straightforward enough my concern is this: Someone will likely make an argument that let's say a subscription-based game or just a single purchase game in general that uses an RNG loot table system is "technically" this. Pay subscription or buy game, kill mobs, get loot. Paid to get loot. Now that may sound silly and any common person might see how stupid that comparison is. But we're talking about politicians and lawyers here. These folks once passed a law in Rhode Island that accidently legalized prostitution.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2014/07/17/when-rhode-island-accidentally-legalized-prostitution-rape-and-stis-decreased-sharply/?utm_term=.aaa05ac072eb

    In truth the gaming industry should have reeled this problem in a while ago and gotten it under control. The lesson should have been learned after that first Apple lawsuit.

    Opps.

    https://www.engadget.com/2013/02/26/apple-in-app-settlement/

    The fact government officials are now involved should probably make all of us cringe a bit at what the unintended consequences will end up being. As with most things legislative, the wording will be everything.


    This post was edited by Kratuk at May 10, 2019 11:37 AM PDT
    • 960 posts
    May 10, 2019 11:38 AM PDT

    zewtastic said:

    Tanix said:

    Ghool said: Just take a look at modern kids toy lines and this legislation won't hold water. Everything marketed at kids these days is all blind buy and enforced rarity collectible toys. It's not often a new toy line comes out that doesn't encourage addictive behaviors and gambling. I'd like to see more enforcement across the board from all companies utilizing predatory practices to addict children to their products.

    There are no victims when there is an ability to make an informed choice, just people making poor decisions and you can't legislate that away without disregarding the liberties of individuals who do make informed decisions.

    Most all P2W schemes I've ever seen incorporate some random aspect which essentially makes it gambling. 

     

    with the whole shift in manipulating society via instant gratification, these businesses practices are normal and the avg person is gravitating towards it willingly.  like a moth to the flame, people want that like (facebook, instagram, twitter), that quick easy order (amazon, ebay) and that fast access of information (google, youtube).  you are either the predator or you are the prey.

    • 700 posts
    May 10, 2019 12:26 PM PDT

    stellarmind said:

    zewtastic said:

    Tanix said:

    Ghool said: Just take a look at modern kids toy lines and this legislation won't hold water. Everything marketed at kids these days is all blind buy and enforced rarity collectible toys. It's not often a new toy line comes out that doesn't encourage addictive behaviors and gambling. I'd like to see more enforcement across the board from all companies utilizing predatory practices to addict children to their products.

    There are no victims when there is an ability to make an informed choice, just people making poor decisions and you can't legislate that away without disregarding the liberties of individuals who do make informed decisions.

    Most all P2W schemes I've ever seen incorporate some random aspect which essentially makes it gambling. 

    with the whole shift in manipulating society via instant gratification, these businesses practices are normal and the avg person is gravitating towards it willingly.  like a moth to the flame, people want that like (facebook, instagram, twitter), that quick easy order (amazon, ebay) and that fast access of information (google, youtube).  you are either the predator or you are the prey.

    Still gambling, still illegal.

    • 960 posts
    May 10, 2019 12:39 PM PDT

    zewtastic said:

    stellarmind said:

    zewtastic said:

    Tanix said:

    Ghool said: Just take a look at modern kids toy lines and this legislation won't hold water. Everything marketed at kids these days is all blind buy and enforced rarity collectible toys. It's not often a new toy line comes out that doesn't encourage addictive behaviors and gambling. I'd like to see more enforcement across the board from all companies utilizing predatory practices to addict children to their products.

    There are no victims when there is an ability to make an informed choice, just people making poor decisions and you can't legislate that away without disregarding the liberties of individuals who do make informed decisions.

    Most all P2W schemes I've ever seen incorporate some random aspect which essentially makes it gambling. 

    with the whole shift in manipulating society via instant gratification, these businesses practices are normal and the avg person is gravitating towards it willingly.  like a moth to the flame, people want that like (facebook, instagram, twitter), that quick easy order (amazon, ebay) and that fast access of information (google, youtube).  you are either the predator or you are the prey.

    Still gambling, still illegal.

     

    for minorities(under 21) yes.  gambling is legal where i'm from.  besides the people here make the laws so they can make money off the people who fall prey to gambling.  it's kind of like weed.  legalize it and leave it up to the people to be responsible.

     

    gaming is no different from gambling.  there's only a 2 letter addition.  at the end of the day it's entertainment.

    • Moderator
    • 8602 posts
    May 10, 2019 6:09 PM PDT

    Moved to Off-Topic as it has nothing to do with Pantheon.

    • 3 posts
    June 21, 2019 10:25 AM PDT

    I can see why they existed in the first place. Free to play games need a way to make money and some games do a good job at giving free players a path to success in their games. I used to play summers war for the better part of a year and I had several full teams of nat 5* without paying a dime becuase there was a clear path to rewards. This was when the game first came out so things like the real time raid, real time pvp, guild wars and tower were not in the game. All of those most importantly give even more premium currency. By the time I left I could buy 3 of the 10+1 pull a month or over a dozen energy/xp refils. There was nothing left for me to do with the cost of free as long as I didn't want to climb the PvP ladders. Dragon 10, Giants 10, Tower Legendary 100, Lich 10 and in a highranked guild for the cost of nothing. Yes it took me awhile but it was fun the whole way through and really if I could go back I think I should have spent some money because for the fun it provided I should have given them something.

    I understand them in that context. The context EA and other companies use it in is that there is 60$ entry fee. No path to free pulls and no path to complete the content for free. They make it so you have to spend you money to proceed or you are stuck. Toss on season passes and load those loot boxes with non-progression items and you have something that is fundementally awefull. 

    • 151 posts
    June 21, 2019 11:08 PM PDT

    The concern is that when a players action is linked to a variable-ratio schedule of reinforcement, then conditioning has occurred. 

    The assertion that any player action in the game environment (will I get phat loots from this kill) becomes ineffectual because a predictable outcome supercedes (death of the mob, gaining XP, etc) the random one. 

    The problem with randomized loot boxes is that the player action (buying the loot box) is directly associated with a random event, this is the strongest form of conditioning and the one that most often creates addictive behavior. 

    • 2515 posts
    June 23, 2019 3:24 AM PDT

    Tanix said:

    I despise PTW and all that garabage, but they are a private company and they can sell the product in any way they like. If people don't like it, don't buy the product. Are people so incredibly irresponsible, so ignorant, so unintelligent that they can no longer make decisions for themselves? The world has gone insane.

     

    Basically this. Are there not enough real problems that the government needs to pass laws regulating how we play games? Mark Twain said "No man's life. liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session." Mark must be turning over in his grave so much that if we could harvest it there would be clean renewable power enough to supply all of the needs of a state or two.


    This post was edited by dorotea at June 23, 2019 3:30 AM PDT
    • 700 posts
    June 28, 2019 12:36 PM PDT

    dorotea said:

    Tanix said:

    I despise PTW and all that garabage, but they are a private company and they can sell the product in any way they like. If people don't like it, don't buy the product. Are people so incredibly irresponsible, so ignorant, so unintelligent that they can no longer make decisions for themselves? The world has gone insane.

    Basically this. Are there not enough real problems that the government needs to pass laws regulating how we play games? Mark Twain said "No man's life. liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session." Mark must be turning over in his grave so much that if we could harvest it there would be clean renewable power enough to supply all of the needs of a state or two.

    Unfortunately we are talking addiction here. Game companies know that and specifically design games to have hooks and triggers to reel in those that have addictive tendancies and OCD problems. It's game design 101 now. People that invariably spend money they can't afford on virtual pixels and even just the chance to acquire something.

    It's not the same as buying a new bowling ball because you love to bowl. It's like buying 10,000 bowling balls because one might have a golden widget inside.

    It's children and young adults mostly. They don't understand statistics and how they truly work. They spend thousands on random chances to upgrade gear, get a rare drop, etc. It's players trying to buy themselves advantages in order to feel good about themselves.

    They do not understand that they have a 0.05% chance on something, each try. They think every dollar they spend is an 'investment', and brings them closer to that prized item.

    It should not be legal in gaming, it should never have been legal.

    • 2515 posts
    June 30, 2019 7:56 AM PDT

     

    Another quote - from one of the founders of the United States. "That government is best which governs least". Some of us still believe this - alas not so many any more.

    Outlawing anything that can conceivably hurt a small number of people that cannot control themselves at the cost of restricting the freedoms of the great majority of people that can act responsibly is not the way.

    Should we also bring back prohibition? I think I can say with no fear of reasonable contradiction that drinking harms enormously more people than gambling ever will - and takes their lives (and the lives of innocent people whether they drink or not) not just their money. 

    People get killed every year diving into pools - shall we ban diving boards? But some of them jumped carelessly from the side of the pool so I guess that is not enough - we need to ban pools. Where does this end?

    • 66 posts
    July 1, 2019 12:49 PM PDT

    You know, when I saw the post title I laughed at first, but the more I read the link I started to think initially I might support it, but ultimately I agree with dorotea...  as a father myself I can't tell you how often my younger ones ask me to buy them some game item and just get so frustrated and don't understand why they can't win at some of these games against people that have tons of stuff they likely paid for.

     

    Zewtastic's post about game companies designing games deliberately to target those addiction tendencies made me think of that recent Black Mirror tv netflix episode that dealt with social media companies specifically targeting reward centers in people's brains to make them 'like' and 'share' stuff, etc.  I think it's a shame that companies do this, but the government should not be in the business of regulating human behavior.

     

    I have to agree with dorotea...  Less government in our lives, please.  While I hate to see my kids frustrated it does create a teachable moment for them, and for those with addiction while I sympathize I personally think making things that lead to that behavior illegal doesn't solve the issue.  People just find other ways to satisfy their addiction.

     

    THAT SAID... I do actually think that companies that allow in game marketplaces or games like EVE that make it possible to directly convert cash or game time into game items should be legally exposed to lawsuits for stolen or lost items.  I mean if you think about it, with EVE's PLEX there really isn't much difference between virtual items and real currency...  those items now have real value due to the way the company handles their in game economy.  As such there should be real world consequences for losing, stealing, damaging or destroying that property since it has real-world value.

    • 700 posts
    July 2, 2019 5:53 PM PDT

    dorotea said:

    Another quote - from one of the founders of the United States. "That government is best which governs least". Some of us still believe this - alas not so many any more.

    Outlawing anything that can conceivably hurt a small number of people that cannot control themselves at the cost of restricting the freedoms of the great majority of people that can act responsibly is not the way.

    Should we also bring back prohibition? I think I can say with no fear of reasonable contradiction that drinking harms enormously more people than gambling ever will - and takes their lives (and the lives of innocent people whether they drink or not) not just their money. 

    People get killed every year diving into pools - shall we ban diving boards? But some of them jumped carelessly from the side of the pool so I guess that is not enough - we need to ban pools. Where does this end?

    Frankly it's just about addiction, and those that prey on the addicted for monetary gain.

    Diving into pools is most likely not high on the addiction chart.