I started this campaign after seeing how detrimental Gacha-style games have been in Japan and increasingly in the United States. These games demand payment in order to gain access to characters, rewards, and other exclusive items in the game. One gamer spent over $6,000 in one night, according to Bloomberg Technology, in order to obtain a rare character, and still failed.
Similar games have been released in the United States, costing Americans thousands of dollars. These games are often marketed towards young children who play daily, encouraging them to spend their parents' money to get the game "rewards."
These games are found in app stores and can be as innocent as a Despicable Me game or a Smurf game. In Canada, a mother came home to find her twin sons spent $3,000 on Clash of Clans in-app purchases. Another boy spent over $3,000 on the game Tiny Monsters, and another kid charged $2,550 for upgrades in the Zombies vs. Ninjas mobile game. David Fewer, a technology law expert, says the games rely on the money kids spend when their parents let them play.
The Gacha Game Campaign is meant to prevent young kids from playing these type of games and carelessly spending their parents' money for bogus rewards. Help me hire a lobbyist by supporting this campaign to protect children and families from this type of manipulation.
About gacha mobile games
The Gacha money making scheme is not only legal in the United States, but it is also becoming more popular for mobile game apps. Already, similar horror stories have surfaced in the U.S. of children spending thousands of their parents' hard earned dollars on in-app purchases, hoping to win some kind of virtual grand prize.
The Gacha method has a striking resemblance to certain forms of gambling, and young players have been noted to exhibit traits similar to gambling addicts. There is no question that the Gacha mechanic is a profitable model for mobile games to not only monetize play, but also to retain players.
As such, many mobile game developers have been adding Gacha mechanisms to their games and face little to no legal restrictions or regulations to what is essentially online gambling. Children in particular are adversely affected because they are a key target audience for most game developers.
It is important to note that the main criticism here is not in-app purchases, but the Gacha mechanics that resemble gambling. Dedicated players, especially young children, are highly susceptible to these Gacha mechanics' addictive nature.
By not allowing children under the age of 18 to play Gacha games, children would be protected from a predatory money making scheme that offers little in return for the large sums of money spent. The United States already protects minors from addictive substances and behaviors such as gambling, alcohol and drug use, cigarettes, and pornography.
This lobbying campaign aims to add the predatory Gacha mechanics in mobile games to that list.
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