April 23, 2018

Tradeable loot boxes declared illegal in the Netherlands

Filed under: Gaming by Branko Collin @ 1:55 pm

toy-cars-branko-collinIn a study released last week, The Netherlands Gaming Authority (NGA) has concluded that some video games are breaking the law by offering so-called loot boxes.

Loot boxes are in-game purchases in which the buyer does not know what is in the box until after the purchase. A box can contain in-game items such as cosmetic changes to one’s avatar, as well as items that make playing easier.

The NGA uses two factors to decide the legality of loot boxes. If chance determines the contents of a loot box and if loot boxes can be traded outside the game environment, the loot box is in violation of Dutch gambling laws. The NGA is giving manufacturers the opportunity to improve their loot box systems. From 20 June 2018 onwards, the authority will start taking measures against non-compliant manufacturers.

According to NOS, four games from NGA’s study that contain transferable loot boxes are Fifa18, Dota2, PubG and Rocket League.

Earlier this month South Korea’s Fair Trade Commission fined four local video game companies for allegedly deceptive loot box promotions, The Korea Herald writes.

You can read the NGA’s report in English at its website (PDF).

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January 22, 2011

Former football super star Ruud Gullit becomes dictator’s coach

Filed under: Sports by Branko Collin @ 3:31 pm

Say you’ve been a FIFA footballer of the year twice and have made a name for yourself as a dedicated anti-racism activist, so much so that president Nelson Mandela himself awarded you South Africa’s Order of Good Hope, and Bono and Mother Teresa have started looking nervously over their shoulders—which is an impressive thing to make Mother Teresa do, since she’s been dead for a good while. What, then, would be your next move?

Ruud Gullit answered that question by becoming a lackey for one of the worst dictators on the planet, Howlin’ Mad Ramzan, or as the man prefers that people address him, ‘King Ramzan’. De Pers report that earlier this month Gullit signed a year and a half contract to become head coach of FC Terek Grozny, the personal football club of Moscow’s puppet ruler of unruly Chechenya, Ramzan Kadyrov.

Kadyrov is not one to take criticism lightly. He is the son of former Chechen dictator Akhmad Kadyrov and has a reputation for violence. “The word opposition is unimaginable,” he once famously said. And he doesn’t just stick to words, as he has a reputation for killing everyone who opposes him. Unfortunately for the Chechen people, everybody on the long list of people who have claimed to have evidence of Kadyrov’s misdeeds have so far met with lethal ‘accidents’.

(Photo of Ruud Gullit by Hamedog, some rights reserved.)

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