September 23, 2019
The Committee’s report calls upon games companies to “accept responsibility for addictive gaming disorders”, as well as, “protect their players from potential harms due to excessive play-time and spending”. The report also wants games companies, together with social media companies, to introduce more effective age verification tools.
The immersive and addictive technologies inquiry investigated how games companies operate across a range of social media platforms and other technologies.
The report calls for:
- the sale of loot boxes to children to be banned;
- the regulation of “loot boxes” under the Gambling Act;
- the games industry to protect players from potential harms;
- an industry levy to support independent research on the long-term effects of gaming; and
- an effective system to keep children off age-restricted platforms and games.
MPs on the Committee have previously called for a new Online Harms regulator to hold social media platforms accountable for content or activity that harms individual users. They say the new regulator should also be empowered to gather data and take action regarding addictive games design from companies and behaviour from consumers. E-sports should adopt and enforce the same duty of care practices enshrined in physical sports. Finally, MPs say social media platforms must have clear procedures to take down misleading “deep-fake” videos, which should be enforced by the new Online Harms regulator. To access the report, click here.