Microtransactions have been a hot topic in the gaming industry. The question has been, should they be allowed in games? Well, one country has decided that one form of microtransactions is illegal.
Belgium has decided to ban so called “loot boxes” from video games in their country, labeling it as gambling. This is just a week after The Netherlands declaring some “loot boxes” as gambling as well.
The Minister of Justice in Belgium has said that publishers of games that have “loot boxes” risk fines or prison time if these games with loot boxes are distributed in Belgium.
Games like FIFA, Overwatch and CSGO were determined to promote gambling and thus will be subject to Belgian gambling laws. Star Wars Battlefront 2 was able to escape the ban to due the outcry of there being loot boxes in the game when it was released, the publisher, EA removed them.
The main reason for the decision from Belgium is to stop minors from being exposed to gambling when they are only trying to have fun, the Minister of Justice noted.
Publishers who don’t remove the “gambling” from their game could face up to five years in prison and fines up to $800,000.
However, for those who hate these loot boxes in America, don’t expect anything to happen since most forms of gambling are legal.
Once again, Donald Trump is trying to ban transgender people from serving in the military. Trump has recently signed a memo that would ban transgender people who have undergone, or are requesting, a gender transition. His previous ban was blocked by federal judges, but Trump is making another attempt, though this one is trying to limit only certain transgender people in an attempt to make it pass. The new ban also allows transgender people to be banned if they have experienced gender dysphoria. Essentially, the new ban would ban virtually all transgender people, or at least a vast majority.
Needless to say, this is vastly unfair and blatantly transphobic. The gender of an individual has no impact on their ability to serve in the military. Frankly, whether or not a person is transgender should be inconsequential to their ability and potential. There is no legitimate reason that transgender people cannot serve in the military; this ban is nothing more than a hateful and pandering gesture on Trump’s part. What good does it do to ban people from serving their country? Why deny them their own agency?
Trump and his ban disrespect transgender people’s very existence because the ban suggests that their presence somehow has a negative impact on people. It does not consider what they do and how they act, just that they are transgender, and that is somehow wrong, according to Trump and his ban. Trump seems to believe that transgender individuals will cause a distraction among the military because of their gender dysphoria and they will not be able to “stand ready.” This coming from the man who is, frankly, a walking disaster and a constant distraction from the real issues with his many scandals and numerous Twitter rants.
Donald Trump has been in office for a little over a week and already he has created huge dissent with blatant xenophobia and Islamophobia. Trump has banned travel from seven countries that have majority Muslim populations, and he has temporarily suspended any refugees from entering the country, all in the name of preventing terrorism (1). This is blatant racism and frankly disgusting and disgraceful behavior from America’s new president.
Trump has, not so subtly, shown that he believes that anyone from an Islamic country is a terrorist or is at least affiliated with or supports them. This is racism; it cannot be said enough. He is making a derogatory, sweeping generalization about one of the largest groups in the world based on the actions of a few who claim to be Islamic, and he has abused his power in an attempt to enforce this belief. In comparison, this is like saying every white male is a mass shooter who will unavoidably kill just because people like Dylann Roof have committed racist mass shootings. Or the fact that the majority of mass shootings (which are themselves acts of terrorism) are committed by white males (2). Why isn’t President Trump issuing an executive order to ban all white men from owning a gun or preventing them from entering the country? It probably wouldn’t seem fair to do that based on the actions of a relative few, would it? Then why would it be okay to do the same exact thing to immigrants and Islamic people? It’s an avoidable fact that the majority of mass shooters in America are white males, and it is arguable that many of the stereotypical terrorists that people are worried about really are of the Islamic faith. However, they may not understand that Islam is a religion that promotes justice, kindness, and goodness, and forbids acts of violence (3).
What Trump is doing is petty fear-mongering. He is trying to make people look away from his own incompetency and place all of the blame for the many issues and troubles on immigrants and the Islamic people. This is blatant racism and ignorant hypocrisy, and it promotes blind hatred. We are a country of immigrants; we are supposed to be a country that welcomes everyone and allows a place for people to practice their religion and beliefs. America is a land of freedom where people are safe in the knowledge that they will be welcomed into the country and be who they are. We even have a national monument promoting exactly this: the Statue of Liberty. There is a plaque at the base of the Statue of Liberty bearing these famous words from the poem The New Colossus: “Give me your tired, your poor, / Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free …” (4). Trump’s actions are distinctly un-American; immigrants are real human beings, not some unknown other. We should be welcoming them in, not taking federal action to keep them out. America is better than this, and we should act like it and not spout ignorant, hate promoting propaganda.
As college students, we all love those days when the weather is beautiful and we’re not dreading class (for once). Then all of a
sudden, your face is engulfed with a cloud of smoke. I don’t know about you, but nothing puts me in a bad mood faster than sucking in a giant breath of cigarette smoke. Of course students have the right to do what they want with their body; I’m not telling anyone to stop smoking. However, I find it rude to puff away on a busy walkway, especially during class changes. Waiting a few minutes to smoke away from a crowd would be the best idea.
The government of Iceland recently announced that it’s studying ways to ban Internet pornography in their country. They have set the precedent to be able to do so because printed pornography has been banned there for many years and strip clubs were banned two years ago. The reasoning behind these bans is that these institutions exploit women and threaten the mental health of children.
Having freedom of speech so engraved in my mind because of American culture, it’s difficult for me to fathom that a modern government would have the audacity to try to ban such a form of expression, even if some find it objectionable. I understand there are circumstances where women are taken advantage of or even coerced into participation, and I acknowledge that it’s certainly possible children who are exposed to pornography may develop negative side effects. However, just because bad things could happen ought not to be the litmus test for what is acceptable and what is not. Continue reading Iceland considers banning Internet porn→