An Australian MP plans to propose a bill that will prohibit the availability of loot boxes in games marketed to children.
As reported by Kotaku, the proposal for legislation will be introduced to the Australian parliament in mid-August by Andrew Wilkie. The Classification Amendment (Loot Box) Bill aims to proscribe companies targeting children with loot boxes in Australia.
Wilkie argues that although it may not be the intent of developers, loot boxes are potentially priming children for "future gambling" and that games that involve such mechanics should be marked with an R18 plus rating.
New advisory details and classifications for games that involved these features will be provided along with the increased age rating. Similar advisories listed include strong violence and interactive drug use.
"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 told the Daily Telegraph.
"It’s not clear if that’s what game companies design but it’s self-evident that they have that effect. 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."
Elsewhere, Brazil is considering whether to make loot boxes illegal by conducting an official investigation. Similarly, Germany is currently debating whether games with loot boxes will be given an automatic 18 rating.
In 2018, Belgium ruled that loot boxes within video games constituted a form of gambling and made them illegal.