Using bots to buy new consoles and resell them may become illegal in the future, if a group of Scottish MPs have their way.
If you get angry every time you read a story about scalpers selling next gen consoles at inflated prices, while grumbling that there ‘should be a law against it’, then you might just get your wish.
A motion has been tabled by six Scottish National Party MPs that describes legislation that would prevent consoles from being bought in bulk and sold at inflated prices.
‘This House believes that new releases of gaming consoles and computer components should be available to all customers at no more than the Manufacturer’s Recommended Retail Price, and not be bought in bulk by the use of automated bots which often circumvent maximum purchase quantities imposed by the retailer,’ reads the early day motion.
The motion calls on the Government to bring forward proposals similar to those introduced to prevent ticket scalping and to make the resale of items purchased by a bot illegal.
The text of the motion all seems perfectly reasonable and appears to understand the problem well, stating that, if put into law, it would deny ‘unscrupulous vendors the chance to make themselves vast profits at the expense of genuine gamers and computer users, while also deterring fraudulent cybercriminal activity.’
Whether the motion will actually become law is difficult to say but it’s a little worrying that the bill currently has no backing from any Conservative or Labour MPs.
It’s hard to imagine anyone would be against the law, especially given the existing restrictions against ticket scalping, but then again there are more important things that MPs are, hopefully, dealing with at the moment.
Barring the odd moral panic, the UK government rarely has much to say about video games but did look seriously into the questions of loot boxes, with EA making their absurd ‘surprise mechanics’ statement in front of the Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport Committee last year.
Nothing much seemed to come of that at first, but the government is supposedly still looking into the issue and may end up banning loot boxes, as some other countries such as Belgium have already done.
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