A study was made recently on the connection between video games and problem gambling. In particular, games that have “loot boxes” or items that give random prizes for in game purchases, be that virtual money or bought credit. According to the study, a large group of adult and children gamers are at risk from being exposed to these loot boxes. Thus, the question begs to be asked, are video games promoting gambling? Let’s read on.
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Could video games be pushers for the iGaming industry?
Opening a Special Gold pack in Fifa, a mystery box in Overwatch or crossing your fingers with a V—Bucks Llama from Fortnite. All of these have been brought into controversy after studies have claimed that “in game loot boxes” have made video games dangerous for gamblers.
Epic Games responded in their “Save the World” patch when they took V-Bucks Llamas out of Fortnite. However, they put the new “X-Ray Llamas” in which gamers are revealed the content of the item and can decide to purchase it. Alternatively, they can also decide to wait for the next day for it to refresh. However, Take-Two, the parent company of GTA and Red Dead Redemption has ruled out the possibility that it has anything to do with gambling.
“Yeah, you can’t force the consumer to do anything,” Slatoff said. “You try your best to create the best experience you possibly you can to drive engagement, and driving engagement creates value in franchises. That’s how it’s always been and how it always will be.”
China has famously banned video games that it deemed were too gory or had ethically questionable parts. Moreover, this month it banned video games with any gambling content.
Are Video Games Promoting Gambling? A Serious Concern
Fans of Star Wars Battlefront: 2 called for an end to loot boxes in the game last year after addressing the problem. Notably, this was also not the first time when it was brought to light.
Its one year on and finally there seems to be some reaction, although, opinion is divided on the matter.
Do you think developers of video games should follow the example of Epic Games and avoid triggering gambling problems? Or do you agree with Take-Two in that they are a fun part of the experience and it’s always in the hands of the customer? The question is always up for the opening. What if they will have gambling addiction problems? That’s a serious concern which has driven the reporting of loot boxes to become such an open-ended debate.