|A new computer lottery game due to be released last week was deemed illegal a day before its release. “Treasure Tower” caused such a ruckus that the radical game has been shelved after Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal ruled that it encouraged children to gamble.|
Blumenthal: 'I am most troubled by the design and marketing features of the game, which will likely and directly appeal to young children. The game's art, content and pace also seem strikingly similar to computer games designed to teach children how to read and count.'
“Treasure Tower” is a computer game that features a cartoon character that the player controls to search for treasure – only unlike normal computer games the treasure is real. Tied with the Connecticut lottery the game was to come with every $4 worth of tickets. For each $4 worth bought the game could be activated with a serial number for a total of twenty minutes. Top prize to be found in the game was to be $25,000.
The Attorney General even likened the game to the Disney movie “Aladdin” and added that: 'Marketing with cartoon characters has a special attraction to children, which is the reason our settlement of litigation against the tobacco industry explicitly banned such cartoon characters in advertisements for tobacco products.'
In some way it’s just as well the game didn’t get a chance. The radical product is doubtless the first true marriage between a sophisticated game playing experience and gambling. A combination of addictive game play and addictive gambling is probably an experience that adults should be steered away from, let alone kids. Nevertheless I can’t see this being the final example of such a compelling union. Only the first.