MMORPG.com : General : Hawaii's Chris Lee: 'Step Up' to Changing Predatory Gaming Practices

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  • MadFrenchieMadFrenchie Nashville, TNMember EpicPosts: 3,360
    Torval said:
    laxie said:
    I think Torval's general point is that when it comes to any legislation, the specific language used is important.

    I can subscribe to that. But I don't think they are going to regulate Pac Man on accident. :smiley:
    No, they aren't.  My point is: they aren't going to copy-pasta the list Superman posted into the law books and scream "Done!"  That's not the way legislation works.  The fact that he's even entertaining the idea at this point is silly.
    That does seem a bit crazy, like passing a budget for a G8 nation without a review and illegible hand-written last minute (literally) edits; that kind of crazy, is that the kind of batshit crazy you're talking about?
    You're talking as if the wording is being put up for a vote in the friggin' Senate right now.  There will be discussion and likely lots of lobbying before anything meaningful is actually passed.  If the wording is ambiguous enough, likely a judge will end up reviewing it.  Activision and EA have the resources to push a case if it comes to that.  

    Quinlan doesn't appear ignorant of the industry; his quotes lend me to believe his claim that he's at least been a regular gamer.  This isn't some damn crusade to take your video games from you.  I would suggest that maybe you give the guy the benefit of the doubt before you start ringing the watchtower bells and screaming about "draconian regulation," because it makes you look a lot like chicken little from where I'm sitting.
    Gdemami

    image
  • laseritlaserit Vancouver, BCMember EpicPosts: 5,185
    edited December 2017
    Torval said:
    laxie said:
    Torval said:
    I'm curious what "similar variable reward mechanism" will encompass. A majority of computer gaming, especially online gaming is driven by variable reward mechanisms gated behind a paywall.

    That is incredibly broad. At any point an assertive administration could interpret and apply that to a broad range of reward mechanics. It's essentially anything that isn't completely deterministic.
    What is an example of a variable reward mechanism linked to a paywall?

    I can think of many variable rewards (RNG essentially), but most of them aren't linked to payments at all (loot drops, procedural dungeon spawns, random quest pool draws).
    Here is an example of what they are talking about:

    http://edeneternal.aeriagames.com/itemmall/loot-wheel

    I know about this one from personal experience, but I am sure that there are plenty more.

    I do want to say that they will need to be very clear about their definitions, else they could, in effect ban most games out due to lack of understanding.

    P.S. WoW is a variable loot mechanism, locked behind a paywall.

    The Eden Eternal example I'm familiar with along with a couple other games that have used similar interfaces. I think Nostale is the latest I've played that has a daily spin-clicky like that as well.

    The WoW example is one I thought of specifically because I'm playing that right now. The WoW design could be described as a system where the player pays for a time slot to click and destroy as many variable reward containers (mobs) as possible before the timer runs out and the player needs to insert another quarter $15.

    Most every MMO and MMORPG I can think of works this way. Should they need to disclose how much it costs to obtain chase items and progression? Should they be rated accordingly? Will minors be allowed to circumvent these systems with parental approval like other platforms (say YouTube for example).

    There are so many unanswered questions and possibilities to change our hobby landscape in unexpected ways.
    "There are so many unanswered questions and possibilities to change our hobby landscape in unexpected ways."

    Isn't that exactly what the video game industry has already done.

    It seems kind of silly that McDonald's and friends have to comply with regulations concerning Monopoly and and every other give away under the sun but Video Game Companies are free to market this loot box crap.

    Wonder why they regulate for these giveaways? They seem innocent enough. Just maybe governments deemed them too open to abuse. But of course the Video Game Industry would never abuse the Loot Box Business Model.
    Post edited by laserit on
    TorvalScotGdemami

    "Be water my friend" - Bruce Lee

  • Superman0XSuperman0X San Jose, CAMember RarePosts: 2,015
    laserit said:

    Wonder why they regulate for these giveaways? They seem innocent enough. Just maybe governments deemed them too open to abuse. But of course the Video Game Industry would never abuse the Loot Box Business Model.
    The reason for the regulations on giveaways like McDonalds is because they give items of value. If they were giving virtual items, they would not fall under the regulations.
    Torval
  • laseritlaserit Vancouver, BCMember EpicPosts: 5,185
    laserit said:

    Wonder why they regulate for these giveaways? They seem innocent enough. Just maybe governments deemed them too open to abuse. But of course the Video Game Industry would never abuse the Loot Box Business Model.
    The reason for the regulations on giveaways like McDonalds is because they give items of value. If they were giving virtual items, they would not fall under the regulations.
    A much abused loophole that needs to be closed.
    IselinTorvalGdemami

    "Be water my friend" - Bruce Lee

  • Superman0XSuperman0X San Jose, CAMember RarePosts: 2,015
    laserit said:
    laserit said:

    Wonder why they regulate for these giveaways? They seem innocent enough. Just maybe governments deemed them too open to abuse. But of course the Video Game Industry would never abuse the Loot Box Business Model.
    The reason for the regulations on giveaways like McDonalds is because they give items of value. If they were giving virtual items, they would not fall under the regulations.
    A much abused loophole that needs to be closed.
    Ok. Lets put it this way. Do you pay taxes on your virtual goods? If they had value, you would. I am not seeing any crusade to make this happen. If it were so important that we recognized the value of virtual goods, I would expect it to start there.
    Torval
  • Slapshot1188Slapshot1188 Boca Raton, FLMember LegendaryPosts: 7,803
    edited December 2017
    laserit said:
    laserit said:

    Wonder why they regulate for these giveaways? They seem innocent enough. Just maybe governments deemed them too open to abuse. But of course the Video Game Industry would never abuse the Loot Box Business Model.
    The reason for the regulations on giveaways like McDonalds is because they give items of value. If they were giving virtual items, they would not fall under the regulations.
    A much abused loophole that needs to be closed.
    Ok. Lets put it this way. Do you pay taxes on your virtual goods? If they had value, you would. I am not seeing any crusade to make this happen. If it were so important that we recognized the value of virtual goods, I would expect it to start there.
    Of course they have value.  The value is established by the cash exchanged for them. If they had no value then we would not pay for them. 

    If you argue that you are not paying for the items but just for the game of chance I would say that’s disingenuous in most cases in an mmorpg.

    Also so let us not forget that RMT is encouraged in some games and also accounts can be sold for real money.  That value is established by things like virtual goods.
    Post edited by Slapshot1188 on
    Gdemami

    "I should point out that no other company has shipped out a beta on a disc before this." - Official Mortal Online Lead Community Moderator

    Starvault's reponse to criticism related to having a handful of players as the official "test" team for a supposed MMO: "We've just have another 10ish folk kind enough to voulenteer added tot the test team" (SIC) This explains much about the state of the game :-)

    Proudly wearing the Harbinger badge since Dec 23, 2017. 

    Coined the phrase "Role-Playing a Development Team" January 2018

  • Superman0XSuperman0X San Jose, CAMember RarePosts: 2,015
    laserit said:
    laserit said:

    Wonder why they regulate for these giveaways? They seem innocent enough. Just maybe governments deemed them too open to abuse. But of course the Video Game Industry would never abuse the Loot Box Business Model.
    The reason for the regulations on giveaways like McDonalds is because they give items of value. If they were giving virtual items, they would not fall under the regulations.
    A much abused loophole that needs to be closed.
    Ok. Lets put it this way. Do you pay taxes on your virtual goods? If they had value, you would. I am not seeing any crusade to make this happen. If it were so important that we recognized the value of virtual goods, I would expect it to start there.
    Of course they have value.  The value is established by the cash exchanged for them. If they had no value then we would not pay for them. 

    If you argue that you are not paying for the items but just for the game of chance I would say that’s disingenuous in most cases in an mmorpg.
    Just because you pay a lot of money for a deed to the Brooklyn Bridge, does not mean it has value. Value is what you can obtain for it (not what you paid for it). If you can not exchange/sell the item, then it has no value. 

    It seems you are referring to the requirements of  gambling: Consideration, Chance, Prize. The consideration (pay in) and chance (randomness) are not really disputed. It is the prize that is different. Virtual items that can not be exchanged for value do not qualify, but Real items that can, do.
    Torval
  • HorusraHorusra maryland, MDMember RarePosts: 3,773
    laserit said:
    laserit said:

    Wonder why they regulate for these giveaways? They seem innocent enough. Just maybe governments deemed them too open to abuse. But of course the Video Game Industry would never abuse the Loot Box Business Model.
    The reason for the regulations on giveaways like McDonalds is because they give items of value. If they were giving virtual items, they would not fall under the regulations.
    A much abused loophole that needs to be closed.
    Ok. Lets put it this way. Do you pay taxes on your virtual goods? If they had value, you would. I am not seeing any crusade to make this happen. If it were so important that we recognized the value of virtual goods, I would expect it to start there.
    Of course they have value.  The value is established by the cash exchanged for them. If they had no value then we would not pay for them. 

    If you argue that you are not paying for the items but just for the game of chance I would say that’s disingenuous in most cases in an mmorpg.

    Also so let us not forget that RMT is encouraged in some games and also accounts can be sold for real money.  That value is established by things like virtual goods.

    in the US you pay for a driver's license, but it technically has no value if it is stolen as no one else can use it legally.
  • kitaradkitarad RomeMember EpicPosts: 3,805
    Does it have to be real to have value. Bitcoin ?
    Torval

  • Superman0XSuperman0X San Jose, CAMember RarePosts: 2,015
    edited December 2017
    kitarad said:
    Does it have to be real to have value. Bitcoin ?
    Bitcoin has recognized value, because it can be sold. It is recognized in different ways, by different governments, but it is a good example of an virtual item with value.

    FYI: For tax purposes the US considers it an asset, which gains value per capitol gains regulations.
    Post edited by Superman0X on
    Torval
  • CrazKanukCrazKanuk Elmira, ONMember EpicPosts: 5,953
    kitarad said:
    Does it have to be real to have value. Bitcoin ?

    This is actually a great example because it doesn't. It has a commonly accepted value at this moment in time, but consider Steam is dropping it due to escalating fees and bitcoin volatility, I think it illustrates how value can change drastically, quickly for virtual items. A virtual item will carry some sort of value as long as it's transferable. There are plenty of black market sites selling WoW items, for instance. However, selling an original WoW item to someone today would get you MUCH less money that it would have 10 years ago, because there is simply better stuff available. So virtual items CAN have value, but it's subjective and isn't commonly accepted. 

    Crazkanuk

    ----------------
    Azarelos - 90 Hunter - Emerald
    Durnzig - 90 Paladin - Emerald
    Demonicron - 90 Death Knight - Emerald Dream - US
    Tankinpain - 90 Monk - Azjol-Nerub - US
    Brindell - 90 Warrior - Emerald Dream - US
    ----------------

  • TorvalTorval Member LegendaryPosts: 15,370
    Scot said:
    Torval said:
    laxie said:
    I think Torval's general point is that when it comes to any legislation, the specific language used is important.

    I can subscribe to that. But I don't think they are going to regulate Pac Man on accident. :smiley:
    No, they aren't.  My point is: they aren't going to copy-pasta the list Superman posted into the law books and scream "Done!"  That's not the way legislation works.  The fact that he's even entertaining the idea at this point is silly.
    That does seem a bit crazy, like passing a budget for a G8 nation without a review and illegible hand-written last minute (literally) edits; that kind of crazy, is that the kind of batshit crazy you're talking about?

    I am not sure why I picked this one to quote Torval, you are picking arguments out of the air to reason that gambling in gaming is fine. Anything and everything is not a sound basis on which to construct an argument.
    No, I'm picking arguments that illustrate that if there is a predatory design then it goes beyond loot crates.

    Nothing about this has been established as gambling, yet you keep asserting an opinion as fact. I have never said gambling is fine or otherwise. You said that because you have an agenda to push.

    You have yet to construct a sound argument based on fact. I can't help it if you choose to argue from the emotion and opinion of mob mentality which is so rampant now. Why use facts when you can generate fear and hate to get what you want.

    What exactly do you want? You seem to think this mob crusade will accomplish something. What is it your mob wants to do? What witches are you looking to burn?
  • TorvalTorval Member LegendaryPosts: 15,370
    CrazKanuk said:
    kitarad said:
    Does it have to be real to have value. Bitcoin ?

    This is actually a great example because it doesn't. It has a commonly accepted value at this moment in time, but consider Steam is dropping it due to escalating fees and bitcoin volatility, I think it illustrates how value can change drastically, quickly for virtual items. A virtual item will carry some sort of value as long as it's transferable. There are plenty of black market sites selling WoW items, for instance. However, selling an original WoW item to someone today would get you MUCH less money that it would have 10 years ago, because there is simply better stuff available. So virtual items CAN have value, but it's subjective and isn't commonly accepted. 
    Virtual "items" don't have explicit inherent value. That is the different between a personal good, real property, and virtual goods. Personal goods are physical but not considered "real property"d and are taxed differently.

    Real property in the US is essentially real estate and has different laws, rights, responsibilities, and taxes associated with it. And even though deeds of ownership exist they are more like permanent leases as the government has loopholes to take the land if you don't comply (eg: pay your property taxes).

    Virtual good only have value when they're explicitly assigned value like Superman's example. If the bitcoin markets closed tomorrow then all the "bitcoins" would have no value. If all the gold markets closed tomorrow, gold would still have value. Like you said, virtual goods can have value, but even some of those that do don't have an inherent value.

    In the US this is why coupons have a value of some crazy small number like .01 cent because this way they can't be considered a currency or an item of value and taxed or regulated accordingly. The government has specifically left loopholes in that system for business to operate outside of those fees and regulations imposed on high value item transactions.

    Of course this all varies state by state as do gambling laws. This is why some states are always excluded from giveaways like McDonald's Monopoly or the Elder Scrolls Online prize events.

    Maybe in states with draconian regulation some game services won't be legally offered. Maybe it will affect all regions and games will be designed and monetized totally differently and we'll all have to deal with those changes. We don't actually know the consequences of these changes will be. Some people naively think they'll just go away and we'll return to some earlier design and monetization trope. That won't happen.
    Gdemami
  • ScotScot UKMember RarePosts: 6,810
    laserit said:
    laserit said:

    Wonder why they regulate for these giveaways? They seem innocent enough. Just maybe governments deemed them too open to abuse. But of course the Video Game Industry would never abuse the Loot Box Business Model.
    The reason for the regulations on giveaways like McDonalds is because they give items of value. If they were giving virtual items, they would not fall under the regulations.
    A much abused loophole that needs to be closed.
    Ok. Lets put it this way. Do you pay taxes on your virtual goods? If they had value, you would. I am not seeing any crusade to make this happen. If it were so important that we recognized the value of virtual goods, I would expect it to start there.
    Torval said:
    Scot said:
    Torval said:
    laxie said:
    I think Torval's general point is that when it comes to any legislation, the specific language used is important.

    I can subscribe to that. But I don't think they are going to regulate Pac Man on accident. :smiley:
    No, they aren't.  My point is: they aren't going to copy-pasta the list Superman posted into the law books and scream "Done!"  That's not the way legislation works.  The fact that he's even entertaining the idea at this point is silly.
    That does seem a bit crazy, like passing a budget for a G8 nation without a review and illegible hand-written last minute (literally) edits; that kind of crazy, is that the kind of batshit crazy you're talking about?

    I am not sure why I picked this one to quote Torval, you are picking arguments out of the air to reason that gambling in gaming is fine. Anything and everything is not a sound basis on which to construct an argument.
    No, I'm picking arguments that illustrate that if there is a predatory design then it goes beyond loot crates.

    Nothing about this has been established as gambling, yet you keep asserting an opinion as fact. I have never said gambling is fine or otherwise. You said that because you have an agenda to push.

    You have yet to construct a sound argument based on fact. I can't help it if you choose to argue from the emotion and opinion of mob mentality which is so rampant now. Why use facts when you can generate fear and hate to get what you want.

    What exactly do you want? You seem to think this mob crusade will accomplish something. What is it your mob wants to do? What witches are you looking to burn?

    Ok then there is predatory design that goes beyond loot boxes, how does that change what we are saying? This is like CrazKunuks arguments, "there is far more to this", that does not matter, one step at a time.

    It does not have to be "established as gambling". Once again, I expect it to be established, some countries lean to saying it is, some lean to saying it is not. I am not sure what my agenda is meant to be and a discussion about what a fact is will lead us up a tree without a paddle.

    On a more interesting note the value of virtual items was raised. I expect this to change, we have already seen a major shift in the lifestyles of people to being online. As we spend more and more of our lives online more value will be given to virtual goods. I am not saying I want or do not want that to happen, just that it will.
    Gdemami

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  • CrazKanukCrazKanuk Elmira, ONMember EpicPosts: 5,953
    Torval said:
    CrazKanuk said:
    kitarad said:
    Does it have to be real to have value. Bitcoin ?

    This is actually a great example because it doesn't. It has a commonly accepted value at this moment in time, but consider Steam is dropping it due to escalating fees and bitcoin volatility, I think it illustrates how value can change drastically, quickly for virtual items. A virtual item will carry some sort of value as long as it's transferable. There are plenty of black market sites selling WoW items, for instance. However, selling an original WoW item to someone today would get you MUCH less money that it would have 10 years ago, because there is simply better stuff available. So virtual items CAN have value, but it's subjective and isn't commonly accepted. 
    Virtual "items" don't have explicit inherent value. That is the different between a personal good, real property, and virtual goods. Personal goods are physical but not considered "real property"d and are taxed differently.

    Real property in the US is essentially real estate and has different laws, rights, responsibilities, and taxes associated with it. And even though deeds of ownership exist they are more like permanent leases as the government has loopholes to take the land if you don't comply (eg: pay your property taxes).

    Virtual good only have value when they're explicitly assigned value like Superman's example. If the bitcoin markets closed tomorrow then all the "bitcoins" would have no value. If all the gold markets closed tomorrow, gold would still have value. Like you said, virtual goods can have value, but even some of those that do don't have an inherent value.

    In the US this is why coupons have a value of some crazy small number like .01 cent because this way they can't be considered a currency or an item of value and taxed or regulated accordingly. The government has specifically left loopholes in that system for business to operate outside of those fees and regulations imposed on high value item transactions.

    Of course this all varies state by state as do gambling laws. This is why some states are always excluded from giveaways like McDonald's Monopoly or the Elder Scrolls Online prize events.

    Maybe in states with draconian regulation some game services won't be legally offered. Maybe it will affect all regions and games will be designed and monetized totally differently and we'll all have to deal with those changes. We don't actually know the consequences of these changes will be. Some people naively think they'll just go away and we'll return to some earlier design and monetization trope. That won't happen.


    And this is pretty much my point. So with grand sweeping changes the impact will be too massively wide-spread that it would directly impact the economy by a non-trivial amount. So regulating beyond throwing a warning label on the box, or maybe publishing odds (which I'd be cool with) would mean tens, if not hundreds, of millions of dollars and the grand outcome will be something of minimal impact. Whereas, if an educational program is put in place that actually informs people about gambling, dispelling myths about gambling, and common gambling fallacies, I think you'd wind up with much more informed people. Trying to STOP people from gambling who are pre-dispositioned to gamble is like trying to stop an addict. Do you think that by getting rid of heroin, you're solving the drug addict's problem? SOLVED! Lol. 
    Torval

    Crazkanuk

    ----------------
    Azarelos - 90 Hunter - Emerald
    Durnzig - 90 Paladin - Emerald
    Demonicron - 90 Death Knight - Emerald Dream - US
    Tankinpain - 90 Monk - Azjol-Nerub - US
    Brindell - 90 Warrior - Emerald Dream - US
    ----------------

  • laseritlaserit Vancouver, BCMember EpicPosts: 5,185
    laserit said:
    laserit said:

    Wonder why they regulate for these giveaways? They seem innocent enough. Just maybe governments deemed them too open to abuse. But of course the Video Game Industry would never abuse the Loot Box Business Model.
    The reason for the regulations on giveaways like McDonalds is because they give items of value. If they were giving virtual items, they would not fall under the regulations.
    A much abused loophole that needs to be closed.
    Ok. Lets put it this way. Do you pay taxes on your virtual goods? If they had value, you would. I am not seeing any crusade to make this happen. If it were so important that we recognized the value of virtual goods, I would expect it to start there.
    In some countries you do. Online software purchases including international sales are a steadily evolving market/industry. Some countries charge tax for services, some don't. The ones who do, didn't at one point.

    Rules, regulation and taxation are constantly evolving.

    Vacations are just like virtual goods. You get nothing physical and all you end up with is a memory. Yet they are taxed.

    "Be water my friend" - Bruce Lee

  • TorvalTorval Member LegendaryPosts: 15,370
    CrazKanuk said:
    Torval said:
    CrazKanuk said:
    kitarad said:
    Does it have to be real to have value. Bitcoin ?

    This is actually a great example because it doesn't. It has a commonly accepted value at this moment in time, but consider Steam is dropping it due to escalating fees and bitcoin volatility, I think it illustrates how value can change drastically, quickly for virtual items. A virtual item will carry some sort of value as long as it's transferable. There are plenty of black market sites selling WoW items, for instance. However, selling an original WoW item to someone today would get you MUCH less money that it would have 10 years ago, because there is simply better stuff available. So virtual items CAN have value, but it's subjective and isn't commonly accepted. 
    Virtual "items" don't have explicit inherent value. That is the different between a personal good, real property, and virtual goods. Personal goods are physical but not considered "real property"d and are taxed differently.

    Real property in the US is essentially real estate and has different laws, rights, responsibilities, and taxes associated with it. And even though deeds of ownership exist they are more like permanent leases as the government has loopholes to take the land if you don't comply (eg: pay your property taxes).

    Virtual good only have value when they're explicitly assigned value like Superman's example. If the bitcoin markets closed tomorrow then all the "bitcoins" would have no value. If all the gold markets closed tomorrow, gold would still have value. Like you said, virtual goods can have value, but even some of those that do don't have an inherent value.

    In the US this is why coupons have a value of some crazy small number like .01 cent because this way they can't be considered a currency or an item of value and taxed or regulated accordingly. The government has specifically left loopholes in that system for business to operate outside of those fees and regulations imposed on high value item transactions.

    Of course this all varies state by state as do gambling laws. This is why some states are always excluded from giveaways like McDonald's Monopoly or the Elder Scrolls Online prize events.

    Maybe in states with draconian regulation some game services won't be legally offered. Maybe it will affect all regions and games will be designed and monetized totally differently and we'll all have to deal with those changes. We don't actually know the consequences of these changes will be. Some people naively think they'll just go away and we'll return to some earlier design and monetization trope. That won't happen.


    And this is pretty much my point. So with grand sweeping changes the impact will be too massively wide-spread that it would directly impact the economy by a non-trivial amount. So regulating beyond throwing a warning label on the box, or maybe publishing odds (which I'd be cool with) would mean tens, if not hundreds, of millions of dollars and the grand outcome will be something of minimal impact. Whereas, if an educational program is put in place that actually informs people about gambling, dispelling myths about gambling, and common gambling fallacies, I think you'd wind up with much more informed people. Trying to STOP people from gambling who are pre-dispositioned to gamble is like trying to stop an addict. Do you think that by getting rid of heroin, you're solving the drug addict's problem? SOLVED! Lol. 
    The question and issue really comes down to what this is about. Is this really about saving the children? If so then data driven problem solving should be engaged.

    My spidey sense tells me this is more about cheap greedy gamers that don't want to pay what it costs to game.

    I find it hard to believe that gamers who are incredibly selfish want to suddenly save the children from gambling. They haven't established there is any real threat. They have established they don't like paying much for games and they don't like it when people can buy their way past what they feel they've "worked" for. So I'm not buying the benevolence angle from gamers. They've not shown a real concern yet.

    I'm not buying that angle from the politicians either. This is a political grandstanding ploy to grab attention for a state that's otherwise often ignored. If this politician was a gamer, then he wouldn't have discovered this on reddit and would have already been pursuing action. But his epiphany came from reading Reddit and see political potential in soapboxing with an volatile angry mob looking for someone to spearhead their cause. It's political gold.

    Where has the damage been done that we need government regulation to protect us? Protect us from what, the potential that maybe we could possibly be hurt under a specific set of imaginary circumstances? We don't care about the number of gun death and doing something about that, but we're very concerned that some eSports gamers might have to pay a lot.

    If this were a thing that could and was hurting people then it should deserve attention. But none of that has been established but we're treating it like serious crimes that do hurt people.
    CrazKanukMadFrenchie
  • TorvalTorval Member LegendaryPosts: 15,370
    Scot said:

    Ok then there is predatory design that goes beyond loot boxes, how does that change what we are saying? This is like CrazKunuks arguments, "there is far more to this", that does not matter, one step at a time.

    It does not have to be "established as gambling". Once again, I expect it to be established, some countries lean to saying it is, some lean to saying it is not. I am not sure what my agenda is meant to be and a discussion about what a fact is will lead us up a tree without a paddle.

    On a more interesting note the value of virtual items was raised. I expect this to change, we have already seen a major shift in the lifestyles of people to being online. As we spend more and more of our lives online more value will be given to virtual goods. I am not saying I want or do not want that to happen, just that it will.
    You keep using the gambling argument. You can't use and then dismiss it when it's shown to be specious.

    Again, what do you specifically hope to accomplish here?
  • CrazKanukCrazKanuk Elmira, ONMember EpicPosts: 5,953
    Torval said:
    CrazKanuk said:



    And this is pretty much my point. So with grand sweeping changes the impact will be too massively wide-spread that it would directly impact the economy by a non-trivial amount. So regulating beyond throwing a warning label on the box, or maybe publishing odds (which I'd be cool with) would mean tens, if not hundreds, of millions of dollars and the grand outcome will be something of minimal impact. Whereas, if an educational program is put in place that actually informs people about gambling, dispelling myths about gambling, and common gambling fallacies, I think you'd wind up with much more informed people. Trying to STOP people from gambling who are pre-dispositioned to gamble is like trying to stop an addict. Do you think that by getting rid of heroin, you're solving the drug addict's problem? SOLVED! Lol. 
    The question and issue really comes down to what this is about. Is this really about saving the children? If so then data driven problem solving should be engaged.

    My spidey sense tells me this is more about cheap greedy gamers that don't want to pay what it costs to game.

    I find it hard to believe that gamers who are incredibly selfish want to suddenly save the children from gambling. They haven't established there is any real threat. They have established they don't like paying much for games and they don't like it when people can buy their way past what they feel they've "worked" for. So I'm not buying the benevolence angle from gamers. They've not shown a real concern yet.

    I'm not buying that angle from the politicians either. This is a political grandstanding ploy to grab attention for a state that's otherwise often ignored. If this politician was a gamer, then he wouldn't have discovered this on reddit and would have already been pursuing action. But his epiphany came from reading Reddit and see political potential in soapboxing with an volatile angry mob looking for someone to spearhead their cause. It's political gold.

    Where has the damage been done that we need government regulation to protect us? Protect us from what, the potential that maybe we could possibly be hurt under a specific set of imaginary circumstances? We don't care about the number of gun death and doing something about that, but we're very concerned that some eSports gamers might have to pay a lot.

    If this were a thing that could and was hurting people then it should deserve attention. But none of that has been established but we're treating it like serious crimes that do hurt people.

    Well said and pretty much dead-on.

    I will say, I'm totally against the predatory mechanics that were in BF2. I mean a year worth of gaming time to progress to completion is retarded! However, you're telling me that if there were items for direct sale, that would change? No! So, yes! If this is about gambling (which it shouldn't be) then let's address the problem of gambling at the root instead of attacking a symptom. If it's about predatory gaming mechanics then let's tackle that with the publishers. I fail to see how this WHOLE BF2 argument has addressed, what I feel, is the root issue, and that's a hella-broken progression system. The PROGRESSION was predatory, not the loot boxes themselves. Unfortunately, how are you going to regulate progression? If you tackle the gambling issue, then you get games with BF2-style progression (retarded long) paired with a shop that sells you that progression directly. I don't see how that's any less broken. 
    Torval

    Crazkanuk

    ----------------
    Azarelos - 90 Hunter - Emerald
    Durnzig - 90 Paladin - Emerald
    Demonicron - 90 Death Knight - Emerald Dream - US
    Tankinpain - 90 Monk - Azjol-Nerub - US
    Brindell - 90 Warrior - Emerald Dream - US
    ----------------

  • CrazKanukCrazKanuk Elmira, ONMember EpicPosts: 5,953
    Scot said:
    laserit said:
    laserit said:

    Wonder why they regulate for these giveaways? They seem innocent enough. Just maybe governments deemed them too open to abuse. But of course the Video Game Industry would never abuse the Loot Box Business Model.
    The reason for the regulations on giveaways like McDonalds is because they give items of value. If they were giving virtual items, they would not fall under the regulations.
    A much abused loophole that needs to be closed.
    Ok. Lets put it this way. Do you pay taxes on your virtual goods? If they had value, you would. I am not seeing any crusade to make this happen. If it were so important that we recognized the value of virtual goods, I would expect it to start there.
    Torval said:
    Scot said:


    I am not sure why I picked this one to quote Torval, you are picking arguments out of the air to reason that gambling in gaming is fine. Anything and everything is not a sound basis on which to construct an argument.
    No, I'm picking arguments that illustrate that if there is a predatory design then it goes beyond loot crates.

    Nothing about this has been established as gambling, yet you keep asserting an opinion as fact. I have never said gambling is fine or otherwise. You said that because you have an agenda to push.

    You have yet to construct a sound argument based on fact. I can't help it if you choose to argue from the emotion and opinion of mob mentality which is so rampant now. Why use facts when you can generate fear and hate to get what you want.

    What exactly do you want? You seem to think this mob crusade will accomplish something. What is it your mob wants to do? What witches are you looking to burn?

    Ok then there is predatory design that goes beyond loot boxes, how does that change what we are saying? This is like CrazKunuks arguments, "there is far more to this", that does not matter, one step at a time.

    It does not have to be "established as gambling". Once again, I expect it to be established, some countries lean to saying it is, some lean to saying it is not. I am not sure what my agenda is meant to be and a discussion about what a fact is will lead us up a tree without a paddle.

    On a more interesting note the value of virtual items was raised. I expect this to change, we have already seen a major shift in the lifestyles of people to being online. As we spend more and more of our lives online more value will be given to virtual goods. I am not saying I want or do not want that to happen, just that it will.
    If you don't see how it changes things, look above. Simply put, let's say it's found to be gambling. We can all rejoice that the chlidren have been saved... YAY!!! However, how does it actually change the predatory mechanics? Not one bit. EA could implement the same predatory game mechanic and, instead of loot boxes, they just sell you those progression items directly. Problem NOT solved. 

    So, yes, the "gambling" argument is pretty fucking important. You think that you, and the gaming community, are fighting for something great and righteous, but your just fighting the worlds largest strawman, and the problem is that it's going to lead to millions, or billions of dollars in spending to solve nothing. That is, unless they get rid of gambling altogether, and we know how prohibition worked out before. 

    Torval

    Crazkanuk

    ----------------
    Azarelos - 90 Hunter - Emerald
    Durnzig - 90 Paladin - Emerald
    Demonicron - 90 Death Knight - Emerald Dream - US
    Tankinpain - 90 Monk - Azjol-Nerub - US
    Brindell - 90 Warrior - Emerald Dream - US
    ----------------

  • Superman0XSuperman0X San Jose, CAMember RarePosts: 2,015
    CrazKanuk said:
    Torval said:
    CrazKanuk said:
    kitarad said:
    Does it have to be real to have value. Bitcoin ?

    This is actually a great example because it doesn't. It has a commonly accepted value at this moment in time, but consider Steam is dropping it due to escalating fees and bitcoin volatility, I think it illustrates how value can change drastically, quickly for virtual items. A virtual item will carry some sort of value as long as it's transferable. There are plenty of black market sites selling WoW items, for instance. However, selling an original WoW item to someone today would get you MUCH less money that it would have 10 years ago, because there is simply better stuff available. So virtual items CAN have value, but it's subjective and isn't commonly accepted. 
    Virtual "items" don't have explicit inherent value. That is the different between a personal good, real property, and virtual goods. Personal goods are physical but not considered "real property"d and are taxed differently.

    Real property in the US is essentially real estate and has different laws, rights, responsibilities, and taxes associated with it. And even though deeds of ownership exist they are more like permanent leases as the government has loopholes to take the land if you don't comply (eg: pay your property taxes).

    Virtual good only have value when they're explicitly assigned value like Superman's example. If the bitcoin markets closed tomorrow then all the "bitcoins" would have no value. If all the gold markets closed tomorrow, gold would still have value. Like you said, virtual goods can have value, but even some of those that do don't have an inherent value.

    In the US this is why coupons have a value of some crazy small number like .01 cent because this way they can't be considered a currency or an item of value and taxed or regulated accordingly. The government has specifically left loopholes in that system for business to operate outside of those fees and regulations imposed on high value item transactions.

    Of course this all varies state by state as do gambling laws. This is why some states are always excluded from giveaways like McDonald's Monopoly or the Elder Scrolls Online prize events.

    Maybe in states with draconian regulation some game services won't be legally offered. Maybe it will affect all regions and games will be designed and monetized totally differently and we'll all have to deal with those changes. We don't actually know the consequences of these changes will be. Some people naively think they'll just go away and we'll return to some earlier design and monetization trope. That won't happen.


    And this is pretty much my point. So with grand sweeping changes the impact will be too massively wide-spread that it would directly impact the economy by a non-trivial amount. So regulating beyond throwing a warning label on the box, or maybe publishing odds (which I'd be cool with) would mean tens, if not hundreds, of millions of dollars and the grand outcome will be something of minimal impact. Whereas, if an educational program is put in place that actually informs people about gambling, dispelling myths about gambling, and common gambling fallacies, I think you'd wind up with much more informed people. Trying to STOP people from gambling who are pre-dispositioned to gamble is like trying to stop an addict. Do you think that by getting rid of heroin, you're solving the drug addict's problem? SOLVED! Lol. 
    The person referenced in the original post (Representative Chris Lee) is not looking to define lootboxes as gambling (he knows that they are not). He isnt looking to change the laws to make this true (he realizes that it is much more complicated than just lootboxes). He is looking to regulate 'Gambling Mechanics' in relation to sales make to people under 21.

    The goals are something that is achievable, and not world changing. I expect the industry to push back on this, but I also expect that a compromise can be reached.
    MadFrenchieTorval
  • Superman0XSuperman0X San Jose, CAMember RarePosts: 2,015
    laserit said:
    laserit said:
    laserit said:

    Wonder why they regulate for these giveaways? They seem innocent enough. Just maybe governments deemed them too open to abuse. But of course the Video Game Industry would never abuse the Loot Box Business Model.
    The reason for the regulations on giveaways like McDonalds is because they give items of value. If they were giving virtual items, they would not fall under the regulations.
    A much abused loophole that needs to be closed.
    Ok. Lets put it this way. Do you pay taxes on your virtual goods? If they had value, you would. I am not seeing any crusade to make this happen. If it were so important that we recognized the value of virtual goods, I would expect it to start there.
    In some countries you do. Online software purchases including international sales are a steadily evolving market/industry. Some countries charge tax for services, some don't. The ones who do, didn't at one point.

    Rules, regulation and taxation are constantly evolving.

    Vacations are just like virtual goods. You get nothing physical and all you end up with is a memory. Yet they are taxed.
    Vacations (services) can be taxed.. but they have no value (after performed). The same applies to virtual items. You can tax their sale, but you can not count their value afterward.
    Torval
  • MadFrenchieMadFrenchie Nashville, TNMember EpicPosts: 3,360
    Torval said:
    CrazKanuk said:
    Torval said:
    CrazKanuk said:
    kitarad said:
    Does it have to be real to have value. Bitcoin ?

    This is actually a great example because it doesn't. It has a commonly accepted value at this moment in time, but consider Steam is dropping it due to escalating fees and bitcoin volatility, I think it illustrates how value can change drastically, quickly for virtual items. A virtual item will carry some sort of value as long as it's transferable. There are plenty of black market sites selling WoW items, for instance. However, selling an original WoW item to someone today would get you MUCH less money that it would have 10 years ago, because there is simply better stuff available. So virtual items CAN have value, but it's subjective and isn't commonly accepted. 
    Virtual "items" don't have explicit inherent value. That is the different between a personal good, real property, and virtual goods. Personal goods are physical but not considered "real property"d and are taxed differently.

    Real property in the US is essentially real estate and has different laws, rights, responsibilities, and taxes associated with it. And even though deeds of ownership exist they are more like permanent leases as the government has loopholes to take the land if you don't comply (eg: pay your property taxes).

    Virtual good only have value when they're explicitly assigned value like Superman's example. If the bitcoin markets closed tomorrow then all the "bitcoins" would have no value. If all the gold markets closed tomorrow, gold would still have value. Like you said, virtual goods can have value, but even some of those that do don't have an inherent value.

    In the US this is why coupons have a value of some crazy small number like .01 cent because this way they can't be considered a currency or an item of value and taxed or regulated accordingly. The government has specifically left loopholes in that system for business to operate outside of those fees and regulations imposed on high value item transactions.

    Of course this all varies state by state as do gambling laws. This is why some states are always excluded from giveaways like McDonald's Monopoly or the Elder Scrolls Online prize events.

    Maybe in states with draconian regulation some game services won't be legally offered. Maybe it will affect all regions and games will be designed and monetized totally differently and we'll all have to deal with those changes. We don't actually know the consequences of these changes will be. Some people naively think they'll just go away and we'll return to some earlier design and monetization trope. That won't happen.


    And this is pretty much my point. So with grand sweeping changes the impact will be too massively wide-spread that it would directly impact the economy by a non-trivial amount. So regulating beyond throwing a warning label on the box, or maybe publishing odds (which I'd be cool with) would mean tens, if not hundreds, of millions of dollars and the grand outcome will be something of minimal impact. Whereas, if an educational program is put in place that actually informs people about gambling, dispelling myths about gambling, and common gambling fallacies, I think you'd wind up with much more informed people. Trying to STOP people from gambling who are pre-dispositioned to gamble is like trying to stop an addict. Do you think that by getting rid of heroin, you're solving the drug addict's problem? SOLVED! Lol. 
    The question and issue really comes down to what this is about. Is this really about saving the children? If so then data driven problem solving should be engaged.

    My spidey sense tells me this is more about cheap greedy gamers that don't want to pay what it costs to game.

    I find it hard to believe that gamers who are incredibly selfish want to suddenly save the children from gambling. They haven't established there is any real threat. They have established they don't like paying much for games and they don't like it when people can buy their way past what they feel they've "worked" for. So I'm not buying the benevolence angle from gamers. They've not shown a real concern yet.

    I'm not buying that angle from the politicians either. This is a political grandstanding ploy to grab attention for a state that's otherwise often ignored. If this politician was a gamer, then he wouldn't have discovered this on reddit and would have already been pursuing action. But his epiphany came from reading Reddit and see political potential in soapboxing with an volatile angry mob looking for someone to spearhead their cause. It's political gold.

    Where has the damage been done that we need government regulation to protect us? Protect us from what, the potential that maybe we could possibly be hurt under a specific set of imaginary circumstances? We don't care about the number of gun death and doing something about that, but we're very concerned that some eSports gamers might have to pay a lot.

    If this were a thing that could and was hurting people then it should deserve attention. But none of that has been established but we're treating it like serious crimes that do hurt people.
    Yes, coming from the same camp that likes to do breakdowns on how subs are, long-term, more expensive than cash shop centered titles, it's incredibly rich that now the argument is folks against loot box MTs simply want to game on the cheap.

    image
  • Superman0XSuperman0X San Jose, CAMember RarePosts: 2,015
    edited December 2017
    CrazKanuk said:

    EA could implement the same predatory game mechanic and, instead of loot boxes, they just sell you those progression items directly. Problem NOT solved. 

    So, yes, the "gambling" argument is pretty fucking important. You think that you, and the gaming community, are fighting for something great and righteous, but your just fighting the worlds largest strawman, and the problem is that it's going to lead to millions, or billions of dollars in spending to solve nothing. That is, unless they get rid of gambling altogether, and we know how prohibition worked out before. 

    Overwatch chose to change how they offer lootboxes in China, to circumvent the regulations. They stopped selling them, and instead gave them away free with the purchase of virtual currency. As you can no longer BUY a lootbox, they became exempt from the regulation.
    Post edited by Superman0X on
    Torval
  • MadFrenchieMadFrenchie Nashville, TNMember EpicPosts: 3,360
    laserit said:
    laserit said:
    laserit said:

    Wonder why they regulate for these giveaways? They seem innocent enough. Just maybe governments deemed them too open to abuse. But of course the Video Game Industry would never abuse the Loot Box Business Model.
    The reason for the regulations on giveaways like McDonalds is because they give items of value. If they were giving virtual items, they would not fall under the regulations.
    A much abused loophole that needs to be closed.
    Ok. Lets put it this way. Do you pay taxes on your virtual goods? If they had value, you would. I am not seeing any crusade to make this happen. If it were so important that we recognized the value of virtual goods, I would expect it to start there.
    In some countries you do. Online software purchases including international sales are a steadily evolving market/industry. Some countries charge tax for services, some don't. The ones who do, didn't at one point.

    Rules, regulation and taxation are constantly evolving.

    Vacations are just like virtual goods. You get nothing physical and all you end up with is a memory. Yet they are taxed.
    Vacations (services) can be taxed.. but they have no value (after performed). The same applies to virtual items. You can tax their sale, but you can not count their value afterward.
    True, but I don't see a push from anyone to consider virtual goods as services.  The nature of the items are far different.

    image
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