In short: despite all the joy that video games bring to people, there is a lot of negativity associated with the environment, including loot boxes, collecting gold and addiction. The EU has just voted to take action on these and other issues, although what exactly this will entail is still unclear.
According to Gamesindustry.biz, the European Parliament voted to adopt a report that “highlights the positive aspects of this innovative industry, as well as the social risks that we must take into account, such as the impact of games on mental health,” said MEP Adriana Maldonado Lopez. , who led the report.
One of these risks are loot boxes, which have long been controversial. The EU Commission will analyze the impact of loot boxes and in-game purchase prompts and take action if necessary.
Last year’s report by the Norwegian Consumer Observer concluded that the mechanics of loot boxes in games is predatory and exploits consumers. The report prompted consumer watchdogs in 18 other countries to call for stricter regulation of loot box games.
The EU Commission is investigating whether gold mining may be linked to financial crimes and human rights violations. The report also calls for regulatory measures regarding games that allow players to create their own content to protect users, especially minors, from illegal activities. Moreover, he wants to put an end to the illegal practice of allowing anyone to exchange, sell or bet on in-game and third-party sites (for betting on skins).
Most of the report is devoted to the age rating system of the Pan-European Games Information (PEGI), in fact, the European version of the ESRB rating system. MEPs want it to become a mandatory age rating system for all games in the single market. He also wants to introduce standard labels for information such as the theme of the game, in-game purchase options, and the presence of pop-up ads.
Not all of the report is devoted to the worst elements of games. He demands the creation of a European Video Game Strategy to stimulate the development of the industry and “help to unlock its full potential.” And he proposes to create a new annual European award for online video games and recognizes how games can help in education, mental health and other aspects of life.
These are all just recommendations, of course. We will have to wait and see when, how and whether they will be implemented.