Petitioning Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB)

Make ESRB declare lootboxes as gambling

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OVERWATCH LOOT BOX PICTURE IS SYMBOLIC. THIS PETITION TALKS ABOUT VIDEO GAME INDUSTRY AS A WHOLE!

As per Google's definition of a gamble: take risky action in the hope of a desired result.

And Dictionary.com's: to stake or risk money, or anything of value, on the outcome of something involving chance.

Lootboxes and crates in video games fit the description entirely, as everytime you open them, you gamble and take chances to win rare in-game content.

ESRB's official statement on why they don't consider loot boxes to be gambling: “While there’s an element of chance in these mechanics, the player is always guaranteed to receive in-game content (even if the player unfortunately receives something they don’t want)."

By their definition, it means, that if you gamble and you lose the bet and then get compensated by credit, candy bar or anything else, it is not considered "real gambling", even though, that you usually need to buy premium in-game currency with real money to purchase loot boxes/creates. That means if you use a slot machine and you lose the bet and then get compensated by credit or a dollar it is not considered "Real gambling".

I don't think that this is correct as video games employ all real-world tactics that are used to make people gamble without mentioning exploitation of addictive behaviour and adverse effects it can have on people, especially on minors who are not familiar with those methods. Just because you get a small compensation, in the end, it doesn't mean that this is not real gambling.

The solution to this problem would be, that ESRB declares their respective "Adulty only" rating for video games in which you can gamble(even ones which compensate you with digital items or credits).

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  • Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB)

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