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Hawaiian representative wants to clamp down on 'predatory' loot boxes

November 22, 2017 | By Chris Kerr

Representative Chris Lee from the Hawaiian House of Representatives is the latest political figure to denounce loot boxes. 

The U.S. politician condemned the "predatory behavior" of video game publishers that use the monetization tactic, and took particular issue with EA. 

In a video, not so subtly entitled 'highlights of the EA predatory behavior announcement,' Lee called out the Battlefront II publisher for creating what he described as a "Star Wars-themed online casino."

He intends to combat the issue by introducing legislation in Hawaii that would prohibit the sales of games featuring loot boxes to minors, and also spoke about "prohibiting different kinds of mechanisms" in games. 

Lee followed up the video (shown above) with a comprehensive statement on Reddit, where he explained the fight against loot boxes can be won if people stand up and make their voice heard. 

"This fight is about protecting kids, protecting families, freedom from exploitation, and the future of entertainment in this country," wrote Lee. 

"These kinds of loot boxes and microtransactions are explicitly designed to prey upon and exploit human psychology in the same way casino games are so designed. This is especially true for young adults who child psychologists and other experts explain are particularly vulnerable. 

"This is a fight that unites everyone, even the most polarized conservatives and progressives. Doing something is a political win for Democrats and Republicans alike. And frankly, we don't need to change the laws in every state - we just need to change a few and it will be enough to draw the line and compel change."

Of course, Lee isn't the first politician to comment on the loot box issue. Earlier this week the Belgian Minister of Justice told local media he'd like ban "loot crate" methods

Meanwhile, the Belgian Gaming Commission is continuing its investigation into whether such monetization models count as gambling.

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