Asmongold reveals talks with Senator Ted Cruz about microtransactions
“It doesn’t mean anything’s going to happen, but we’ll see.”
Twitch streamer Asmongold revealed on a recent stream that he has spoken with some U.S. government officials, including Senator Ted Cruz’s office, about microtransactions in video games.
As reported by Dexerto, Asmongold has been vocal about his negative attitudes toward the predatory practice of microtransactions and loot boxes in games because they take advantage of children and those with addictive tendencies. But they’re becoming increasingly common, even as Diablo Immortal ignited controversy over expensive microtransactions — specifically, the exorbitant cost of a full character upgrade. He explained in last night’s World of Warcraft broadcast that he and his team got in touch with Cruz’s office, and even though nothing has evolved past that, it doesn’t hurt to try to get politicians involved in writing laws limiting or banning microtransactions in games, as other countries have done in the past.
“We kind of have made contact with Ted Cruz’s office. It doesn’t mean anything’s going to happen, but we’ll see,” Asmongold said. “I think I can get a lot of especially religious Republicans on board with this by selling it as gambling because it is. You’re effectively indoctrinating kids into gambling. I don’t know, but I really want to try and do it. I’m actually going to try to do this.”
In recent years, some countries have taken action against microtransactions and loot boxes in games played by children. In April 2018, Belgium declared loot boxes illegal under its gambling laws, fining gaming publishers €800,000 if they fail to comply with the law, especially if minors are exposed to loot boxes (in which case the fines would double to €1,600,000). Stateside, Republican Senator Josh Hawley introduced a bill to Congress in 2019 that would regulate if not outright ban microtransactions in games marketed to minors. The bill hasn’t progressed past its introduction stage ever since.