Proposed bill to brand loot box games ‘Adults Only’
An Australian legislator is drafting a bill amendment that would require every “loot box” video game to be stamped with an “R18+” rating, essentially making it illegal for retailers/publishers to sell any video game featuring the controversial mechanic to anyone under 18 years of age.
As reported by Kotaku, Australian parliamentary member Andrew Wilkie is expected to present the Classification Amendment (Loot Box) Bill to the House of Representatives in August, where it will be voted on and thus approved or rejected. The new legislation would see all Loot Box-based games on all platforms received the R18+ or “Adults Only” rating, alongside further descriptive information warnings of said title’s in-game purchases.
“We as a country accept that people over the age of 18 can gamble but let’s make that for adults and giving parents a warning,” Wilkie said in an interview with The Daily Telegraph. “To allow very young children to pay cash for a randomised event that may or may not reward them that would meet any definition of gambling.”
Australia maintains an incredibly staunch stance against video gaming and its content. In regards to video game censorship, Australia is among the most scissor-happy countries on the globe. Wilkie’s proposed bill, however, goes far beyond the hand-wringing over whether a game is too violent or promotes recreational drug use. Should the Classification Amendment (Loot Box) Bill pass, it could facilitate a re-evaluation of the use of loot boxes in gaming for other countries, potentially changing the industry’s trigger-happy application of the mechanic on a global basis.
That’s a mighty big “should”, however… and an even bigger “could”.