IGDA GDC Roundtable Cites ‘Burgeoning Legislation Against Loot Boxes’ As An Example of Censorship


GDC 2018 will take place later this month as usual at San Francisco's Moscone Center, with developers all over the world coming to discuss the games industry at large.

Loot boxes and their implementations are bound to be a big talking point. Surprisingly, though, amidst the sea of developer sessions we found one where the ongoing effort of some governments to develop a proper legislation on this matter has been cited as an example of censorship.

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This session is fittingly called Censorship Strikes Back and it's meant to be a roundtable discussion hosted by Daniel Greenberg, CEO of Media Rez and part of the International Game Developers Association's Anti-Censorship and Social Issues committee.

Here's an excerpt of what's going to be discussed on March 21st in Room 104, South Hall, between 2 and 3 PM local time.

Global gains against game censorship are suddenly at risk from a combination of actions against our industry. With the World Health Organization classifying "gaming disorder" a mental health condition and burgeoning legislation around the world against Loot Boxes, a handful of government officials again wield outsized power over our creative and business decisions. Additionally, Augmented Reality (AR) faces bans in parks, military bases, churches around the world, and a total ban in China. What are developers to do? Join us for a discussion on how we can protect our rights.


Game developers and allies will get updates on the latest assaults on their self-expression and business rights, learn about potential implications of recent government changes, find out what has worked in the past, and learn how to protect themselves and support their peers. They will learn about what works in their country and what they can do to be an advocate for change no matter where in the world they live and work.

Intended Audience

The intended audience is all game developers and allies who want to protect themselves, their work, and their peers from video game censorship.

While we can easily share the concern on the potential classification of a "gaming disorder" by the World Health Organization or the possible bans faced by Augmented Reality games and apps, we cannot say the same over the attempts at regulating loot boxes made, for example, by Hawaii State representatives Chris Lee and Sean Quinlan.

It will be interesting to see what will be actually said in the roundtable, though the official website of GDC 2018 mentions it's still TBD (to be decided) whether it will be recorded and stored in the vault to be available for watching afterward.