Regulators must take action and ban loot boxes as the only use they serve is to boost game company revenues at the expense of gamers.

The digital games market has been awash in-game loot boxes, which is a type of digital treasure chest containing randomised rewards, often paid for with real money. However, the contents are not known at the time of purchase.

Loot boxes banned: regulation is needed

The best way around this problem is to compel game companies to divulge the content of loot boxes. Thus, the companies involved could still earn extra money, but players would know exactly what they are buying, thereby avoiding any gambling behaviour.

Loot boxes have been present for years and they allow gaming companies a means to generate money by providing gamers with “randomly” generated output.

In many cases, the loot selection includes features designed to enhance the gaming experience – extra skins, weapons, or anything which could be used in-game to modify a player’s character or their gaming experience in general.

Loot boxes are considered to be random in nature. By paying in real-time currency, a player buys a random digital product. However, loot boxes are programmed to produce a certain output. Thus, they cannot, in this sense, be considered to be random.

The boxes are programmed in a certain order to encourage purchases. That pattern is programmed to produce the desired results every three or four loot boxes, creating a feeling of euphoria – a win for players – encouraging even more spending.

Loot boxes banned: looking out for the young gamer

Loot boxes produce digital-only products rather than any kind of digital in-game currency, which excludes players from taking part in gambling games. However, loot boxes are responsible for producing gambling behaviour as it tends to generate the feeling of the win, and young players are especially vulnerable.

The fear is for the young gamer and how loot boxes may contribute to problem gambling behaviour. This type of interaction may lead young players to think that spending money on digital platforms is normal, distorting their behaviour, making them spend money not just on games but on other digital platforms.

However, this gambling behaviour is only correlated to the digital world and not the real one. Because loot boxes provide the buyer with a digital product rather than currency, gambling in the real world for those individuals may seem out of place. However, it is of absolute importance that the regulatory authorities take action and ban loot boxes.

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