Blood in the water

Nosy reports how various politicians are taking stances against loot boxes. He concludes that while something is happening, it’s early to celebrate the coming end of lootboxes. I completely disagree. It’s not that the days of pay-for-lootbox gambling are numbered. I think it’s the beginning of the end for all kind of dirty video gaming practices like P2W or rigging matchmaking.

This is a blood in the water situation. When a valuable but wounded target is found and those who used to ignore it jump on it for the scraps. What is that target? Gamers as voters. These mostly young people aren’t the best of voters. They belong to the lowest voting demographics. They are highly suspicious of any kind of politician or authority figure. In the same time they have a hobby they are enthusiastic about.

Catering to them is simple and doesn’t cost a dime of taxpayer money: ban things. Politicians love that. Ban abortion and the evangelicals love you. Ban refusing gay cakes and the liberals will love you. Ban Muslims, ban racist slurs, ban Holocaust denial… it’s a goldmine for politicians, because it can’t really backfire. It’s not like the economy will go down or some stock shark can speculate against it like an economic decision.

Video game bans are even better. There isn’t any group that would protect loot boxes or rigged matchmakers. Can you imagine a “lootbox lives matter” protest? This is Christmas for politicians: ban and get voters, no downsides. First just desperate fringe politicians jump on it. But when the big sharks will taste the blood, they will move for it.

Mark my word: one year from now, it’ll be illegal to sell anything random or powerful and it’ll be also illegal to not disclose major gaming concepts like how the matchmaker works.

Author: Gevlon

My blog: https://greedygoblinblog.wordpress.com/

10 thoughts on “Blood in the water”

  1. I am far more pessimistic.
    1) Games already get round Chinese rules with minimal changes. It will not be different elsewhere.
    2) The US climate is very anti-regulatory, although that normally requires the support of a special interest group and I cannot see the games industry being that organised/united.
    3) Matchmaking is propitiatory information. It will be argued that providing detailed information would provide competitors with an unfair advantage.

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  2. I somewhat agree with you about the attraction for politicians all over the world in attacking video games. The outcome, however, won’t be better, cleaner games. It will be fewer, blander games. In some jurisdictions, when it comes to the kind of games I like, it may be no games at all – or at least no new games. I don’t see much, if anything, about this as good news.

    Fortunately, the kin d of politicians most likely to make a lot of noise about this are the ones least likely to be in a position to do anything so the outcome will probably be what it usually is – no significant change.

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  3. I think it’s more of a shake-down for protection money. Instead of cash in brown paper bags it’s electronic numbers added to a re-election fund, but it’s still the same squeeze play.

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  4. If you want me to “mark your word”, you need to be more specific!
    – illegal in which countries?
    -what do you call illegal? (“a company has already be fined for doing it” or “politicians are sometimes debating it, and it might become a good practice” , or something else?)
    – what is powerful ?(even cosmetic items can be meaningful, eg if they’re smaller or if they are in shades that improve your ability to be unspotted in the environment, such as a battledress compared to a full dress uniform)

    Anyway… I’m probably reading your post too literally. As for myself I think that in the coming years more and more studios will claim being non rigged.

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  5. Even if video game regulation could accomplish a positive result, I think politicians will stop catering to gamers pretty quick when it fails to increase the number of votes they get.

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