Gaming Companies Should Avoid Predatory Designs, US Lawmakers Says – A new gaming design has been passed in the UK that bans game developers and gaming companies from selling in-game loot boxes to minors, underage, and many other restrictions to protect children. Lawmakers in the US are calling for the same thing to be applicable in the US.
Gaming Companies Should Avoid Predatory Designs, US Lawmakers Says
With the latter being said, Democrats are calling on some of the big gaming companies in the country to protect children and minors by extending the design rules when creating their games. Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA), rep. Kathy Castor (D-FL), and Rep. Lori Traha (D-MA) recently sent out letters to dozens of major gaming companies in the US including Blizzard, Epic Games, Microsoft, Riot, and Nintendo, pressing them to extend the UK-type of gaming design regulations to children also in the US.
The lawmakers went on to state and I quote “it is imperative that Congress acts with urgency to enact a strong privacy law for children and teens in the 21st century. As we work towards that goal, we urge you to extend to American children and teens any privacy enhancements that you implement to comply with the AADC.”
In the UK, the “age-appropriate design code” is set to roll out next month. This set of new rules will also be applicable to other social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram including games like Minecraft and Roblox.
This set of rules will specifically force companies to create games with the interest of kids in mind. These rules offer a strict privacy setting like nothing that has been seen before. And these rules will be for different age groups and also restricting the nudging techniques used by these companies to encourage their users to continue with the service.
Although these UK rules do not apply in the US, with the letters, lawmakers have ordered these companies to extend these sets of protections to Americans.
Microtransactions encouraged often via nudging has always led to a high rate of credit card bills for parents, wrote the lawmakers. They continued to say “loot boxes go one’s step further, encouraging purchase before a child knows what the bundle contains, akin to gambling.
Already the US has some laws in place protecting the privacy of kids. One notable rule in place is the children’s online privacy protection act, authored by Markey. However, the law only applies to kids under the age of 12. But the UK rule on the other hand extends to minors under the age of 18.
If you recall, castor, earlier this year reintroduced the kid’s privacy act that includes elements of the UK age-appropriate design code. This bill would forbid the behavioral ad targeting of kids and therefore forcing these said companies to design products in the interest of young people.