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Hassan Calls for Closer Look at Video Game ‘Loot Boxes’

Screen shot of a loot box from the popular game 'Overwatch'

Senator Maggie Hassan is calling on regulators to take a closer look at certain video game micro-transactions.

The ones in question are called loot boxes and you pay real money to get a random virtual reward, like a new character or weapon. Prices can range from about $1 on up

Citing concern from a constituent, Hassan, D-NH, wrote an open letter to the Entertainment Software Ratings Board asking for a review of the digital prizes. In the letter she likened loot box tactics to those found in casinos. She also asked the Federal Trade Commission if it would be willing to look into loot boxes during a Senate committee hearing Wednesday.

"In many cases these are being marketed to and being used by children, who are obviously particularly susceptible to being addicted by them," Hassan said during the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee hearing.

Loot boxes have been a controversial revenue stream for game-makers. Last year developer Electronic Arts pulled similar in-game transactions from a popular Star Wars game after player backlash. 

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