A letter sent to ESRB president Patricia Vance by United States senator Maggie Hassan calls on the rating agency to take steps to analyze and curb the proliferation of loot boxes in videogames. In a separate Q&A session with FTC commissioner nominees, the senator also suggested that if the ESRB fails to take action, the government could become directly involved. In the letter, and in her preamble to the FTC nominees, Hassan praised the ESRB for its effectiveness and value as an age rating board. But she also noted that loot boxes are a relatively new phenomenon, and that the ESRB “must work to keep pace with new gaming trends.” “Recently the World Health Organization classified ‘gaming disorder’ as a unique condition in its recent draft revision of the 11th International Classification of Diseases,” Hassan wrote. “While there is robust debate over whether loot boxes should be considered gambling, the fact that they are both expensive habits and use similar psychological principles suggest loot boxes should be treated with extra scrutiny. At minimum, the rating system should denote when loot boxes are utilized in physical copies of electronic games.” She called on the ESRB to review its rating practices,… Read full this story
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