Problem in gaming apps Pennsylvania leading the way, Microtransactions in games and apps have significantly boosted gaming companies’ revenue, with DLCs, loot boxes, and skins potentially causing addictive behaviors. Over the past decade, the industry has generated more revenue than music and movie combined.
However, in-game content often holds real money value outside the games, leading to investigations and increased oversight from lawmakers and the public. A mix of politicians, behavioral experts, gamers, and parents have advocated for stricter regulations due to the exploitative nature of these microtransactions and in-game content.
In the past years, lawmakers have focused on loot boxes and Pay-to-Win (P2W) games, which allow players to progress or gain an advantage by paying money. However, with lower attention spans in the digital age, many players struggle with delayed gratification and time investment. Companies developing P2W games may exploit individuals with difficulty restraining themselves.
In the United States, the legal status of loot boxes remains uncertain, with most jurisdictions ruling that they do not constitute gambling. However, regulations should focus on stricter parental controls, putting responsibility on app stores like Google Play Store and Apple App Store and game developers.
Pennsylvania, for example, requires licensed online casinos to have an Android or iOS casino app that meets specific requirements in the respective app store. These state-level rules, stipulated by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PAGCB), encompass social responsibility through responsible gaming education and tools to help players who may be at risk of developing problematic behaviors.
Politicians and lawmakers can educate and advise on responsible gaming and pressure Apple and Google to introduce stricter guidelines for app developers. This could include stricter parental controls and access, such as the use of Two-factor Authentication (2FA) and requirements to set spending and time limits in games with microtransactions relating to P2W, loot boxes, and in-game items with real money value.
Limits such as these would allow adults to control their gaming behavior and limit their risk of developing gaming problems, which may adversely affect their lives financially, physically, or mentally. Prevention of addictive behaviors should be taken to higher levels in the gaming industry, reminiscent of what online gambling operators are forced to adhere to in states like Pennsylvania.
Source: (Android Headlines)