A real scourge in the video game industry, loot boxes are a practice that keeps spreading, but fortunately are widely contested. Banned in some countries, heavily criticized by players, for more than a year they are starting to be debated. Many are beginning to equate these loot-boxes with games of chance that have nothing to do with most of our video games. Last year, Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo teamed up for greater transparency regarding these loot boxes so as not to deceive their players. A few months ago, at the beginning of 2020, it was a report from the National Health Service which estimated that loot boxes were responsible for making children addicted to gambling. Today it is official, this dubious system is now part of the ESRB and PEGI classifications. Proof that this is now a warning for some players.
Loot boxes in the PEGI classification
The PEGI (Pan European Game Information) classification system is an indicator for consumers regarding video games. Each game goes through this system before their release in France. Each game is then classified by this organization. It is then that we discover if a game is not recommended for players under 3, 7, 12, 16 or 18 years old. But the classification system also indicates the content of the games. Content that over the years continues to diversify.
Fear, violence, foul language, nudity, horror, sex, drugs, gambling, and discrimination. Loot boxes are now also included in this classification under the "in-app purchases" indicator.
It will therefore be interesting to see from what age games offering in-app purchases will not be recommended. Indeed, depending on its recommended age, a game does not have the same content.
- PEGI 3 : No problematic content.
- PEGI 7 : Rare scenes of fear / Rare scenes of light violence
- PEGI 12 : Coarse or sustained language / Violence / Partial nudity / Rare scenes that can resemble horror
- PEGI 16 : Coarse language / Scenes that can refer to Sex / Violence / Scenes that can use Drugs / Scenes with games of chance.
- PEGI 18 : Coarse languages / Violence / Sexual content / Use of Drugs / Chance games / Scenes of Discrimination.