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Dear lord, it’s been a long time since I’ve written a blog post. I’m sorry to the many of you who have visited this site over the years, but I’ve not really been here for a while. The reason is in part because I recently opened a website where I would like to publish more personal thoughts and insights. It’s called thinkofgames.com.

Every gamer has been there: You’re playing a game for hours and hours and it’s starting to drag. You’ve probably tried all kinds of solutions to end this:  cutting the level short to remove the buildup of frustration, switching to a different game or switching to a different screen, and probably even going for a walk.

You are free to copy as you see appropriate. It doesn’t matter who I am, but I’ve learned over the years that businesses are afraid of two things: lawsuits and well-informed consumers. However, there will be a considerable amount of reading and parsing to do. I’ll make changes as required since I’m sure I’ve missed some data points or facts, but I’m always open to new ideas and arguments.

To get back on topic, if you’re a North American gamer who, like me, is sick and tired of these predatory business tactics, you may spend 10 minutes of your time doing some local research on your local or state level representative. The short version is that we often hear about people not violating any laws, but we also hear about the ongoing discussion over whether or not video games should contain things like violence or sexual material, but gambling is very tough to handle. However, considerable progress has been made in recent years. But it’s possible that’s not enough. I’ve included three key data items that I believe the general public is under-informed on.

Resources, Tools, and Sources:

Making a complaint about unethical business practices:

https://reportfraud.ftc.gov/#/

ESRB’s contact form is available at https://www.esrb.org/contact/.

#1 – http://www.engadget.com/2018-11-28-federal-trade-commission-loot-box-gambling.html

Within the US, this was most recently explored with EA and loot-boxes resulting in a study conducted by the FTC. The issued workshop paper, published in August of 2020 specifically highlights activities such as disclosure of loot box odds, in game purchase disclosures and the propensity for developers to ‘hide’ this cost by translating it into a ‘local in-game currency’ and a strong endorsement for placing games that include loot-boxes and in-app purchases to Mature, Adult Only, or creating a new, separate rating to encompass this category (https://www.ftc.gov/system/files/documents/reports/staff-perspective-paper-loot-box-workshop/loot_box_workshop_staff_perspective.pdf).

https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2020/08/ftc-staff-issue-perspective-paper-video-game-loot-boxes-workshop-ftc-staff-issue-perspective-paper-video-game-loot-boxes-workshop-ftc-staff-issue-perspective-paper-video-game-loot-boxes-work

 

#2 – It would be fascinating to know how much of the player population is classified as “high-risk” for gambling addiction or exploitative activities. Mentally ill people, the elderly, children, veterans, minorities, and those who have previously struggled with drug addiction are among these groups, according to the National Institute of Health (NIH). PMC5735080 - An Open Letter

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5735080/). To vulnerable groups, this is inherently predatory conduct.

#3 – Legislationhttps://www.congress.gov/congressional-report/111th-congress/house-report/656/Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection, and Enforcement Act

S.1629 (https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/senate-bill/1629/text) (https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/senate-bill/1629/text) (https://www.congress.gov/bill

SECTION 1: Pay-to-win microtransactions and loot box sales in video games are regulated.

(a) Pay-to-Win microtransactions and the selling of loot boxes in minor-Oriented games are prohibited.

(1) PUBLISHERS OF GAMES. — It’s against the law for a game publisher to release—

(A) a minor-oriented game with pay-to-win microtransactions or loot boxes; or (B) a major-oriented game with pay-to-win microtransactions or loot boxes.

(B) a modification to an existing minor-oriented game that allows for pay-to-win microtransactions or loot boxes.

(2) DISTRIBUTORS OF DIGITAL GAMES. — Distributing— is illegal for a digital game distributor.

(A) a minor-oriented game with pay-to-win microtransactions or loot boxes; or (B) a major-oriented game with pay-to-win microtransactions or loot boxes.

(B) a modification to an existing minor-oriented game that allows for pay-to-win microtransactions or loot boxes.

(a) Publishers and distributors who have constructive knowledge that any users are under the age of 18 are prohibited from publishing or distributing video games with pay-to-win microtransactions or buying loot boxes.

(1) PUBLISHERS OF GAMES.— It is illegal for a game publisher to release an interactive digital entertainment product (or an upgrade to such a product) that is not a minor-oriented game if—

(A) the product or update includes pay-to-win microtransactions or loot boxes; and (B) the product or update contains pay-to-win microtransactions or loot boxes.

(B) the publisher has actual information that one or more of its users is under the age of eighteen.

(2) DISTRIBUTORS OF DIGITAL GAMES.— It is illegal for a digital game distributor to publish an interactive digital entertainment product (or an update to such a product) that is not a minor-oriented game if—

(A) the product or update includes pay-to-win microtransactions or loot boxes; and (B) the product or update contains pay-to-win microtransactions or loot boxes.

(B) the distributor has actual knowledge that one or more of its users is under the age of eighteen.

With that being said, as of 2020 the Congressional Gaming Caucus was reestablished and is currently chaired by Reps. Dina Titus (D-NV) and Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA) which is the oversight committee on matters involving gambling both digitally and physically. I myself, have taken to writing both of these individuals a letter as well as my own state representatives, which I will provide here for those of you that may want to do the same. Just simply fill in the appropriate information.

—-Begin with a letter—-

(Name of Member of Congress) (District, State) (Official Mailing Address)

I’m writing as a concerned resident about an issue that has grown more prevalent in our increasingly digital world but has never been adequately addressed. Microtransactions and loot boxes are becoming more prevalent in today’s video games, thanks to well-known firms like Ubisoft, Activision, Wargaming, and Electronic Arts. I believe that gambling is limited to people aged 21 and above, with certain exceptions at the state level for those under the age of 18. Many games are being promoted to far younger or at-risk populations based on existing Entertainment Software Rating Board standards, a self-governing organization with authority over digital media ratings.

Several efforts have been made in the past to officially classify lootboxes and ‘pay-to-win’ mechanisms as gambling and limit their sale to the proper audiences. This includes H. Rept. 111-656 of the 111th Congress (also known as the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection, and Enforcement Act) and, more recently, S.1629 in the Senate to ban the promotion of loot boxes and pay-to-win mechanisms to our country’s children. Please find the study conducted by the National Institute of Health (National Center for Biotechnology Information) for Encl. 1 of my letter, which states that addictive behaviors disproportionately affect some of our country’s most vulnerable populations, such as children, veterans, the elderly, minorities, and those recovering from substance abuse issues. The Federal Trade Commission has achieved modest successes, but none that have had a major effect. One such outcome was the Federal Trade Commission workshop, which was published in August of 2020 and is included to this letter as Encl. 2. Many of the suggestions made in the aforementioned House and Senate legislation were discussed during this workshop, including age limits, cost transparency, and other risk-reducing considerations for consumers, as well as the deceptive tactics employed by video game developers and publishers.

—Add it to the CGC Chairs — In accordance with the recommendations of the Federal Trade Commission’s workshop on whether these pay-to-win and lootbox mechanics should be classified as gambling, I believe this issue would fall under your jurisdiction immediately as Co-Chair of the Congressional Gaming Caucus, and you would be uniquely qualified to evaluate this matter. —Insert End—

I’d like to hear your thoughts on this, because I believe that as citizens, voters, and veterans, we must do everything we can to limit or prevent exposure to predatory business practices and predatory endeavors among our nation’s vulnerable populations, including taking legislative action if necessary.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this.

With much respect, (Enter your name here) (Address)

Attachments:

The.pdfs were renamed as Enclosure 1 and 2.

—Finish Letter—

My letters have already been written and mailed. As a Beta-Tester, I will not be able to play World of Warships until these problems are resolved, but I must appreciate Wargaming for effectively pushing us to have this conversation. The game should be properly promoted.

Sorry for the ping here, but it was just a passing idea u/AprilWhiteMouse; Perhaps a feasible alternative for you outside of Patreon financing is to create a Youtube channel; you could be able to acquire a large amount of subscribers via other means like as Jingles and Flamu sponsorships. Enough to allow you to continue creating material for the benefit of the community rather than the business, despite the fact that this is a side consequence of your content production.

Edit 1: I made a mistake and forgot to mention this, but I wanted to throw out a list of games you may play if you want to take a vacation from World of Warships but still need your dose of exploding ships. Individual preferences may differ. Please feel free to add more games to this list, and I’ll include them. Some are now unavailable.

Battlestations: Midway is a list of battlestations. Pacific Battlestations

Prolouge Carrier Command: Gaea Mission Carrier Command 2: Aircraft Carrier Survival

Cold Waters Dangerous Waters

Storm in the Pacific Allies in the Pacific Storm

War on the Sea (Silent Hunter 3, 4, and 5)

India’s Naval Front in 1971

Admiral of the Task Force

Naval Combat in the Missile Age (Sea Power)

UBOAT

Commander of an Uboat

Steely Waves

The Pacific’s Strategic Mind

NavalArt

Dreadnoughts are the ultimate admirals.

If you have a PlayStation 2 or PlayStation 3, Warship Gunner 2 is a great game to play.

 

Are you looking for PC games to play? Here are all of the new PC games to keep an eye on in 2021.

The pace of PlayStation 4 game releases isn’t going to slow down in 2021. Here’s everything to look forward to in the coming months.

This article broadly covered the following related topics:

  • wows
  • wows news
  • news warships
  • world of warships new ships
  • how to play world of warships
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