Topic-icon For Many Players, Lootboxes Are a Crisis That's Already Here

  • Kazara
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2 weeks 2 days ago #47893 by Kazara
Kazara created the topic: For Many Players, Lootboxes Are a Crisis That's Already Here
For Many Players, Lootboxes Are a Crisis That's Already Here

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I’ve spent the last few weeks documenting stories I received online from folks who managed compulsive spending related to micro-transactions, gachapon/loot box mechanics, and skin gambling. I wanted to know if people were actually having problems with these systems already, and I got my answer quickly enough. There are people, probably more than we think, who have been seriously impacted by the consequences of impulsive spending in games.

In trying to learn how gambling-like systems in games can harm people, I opened myself to a broad spectrum of stories and experiences. The individuals I spoke to ran a wide gamut of gaming contexts and age groups. They played across multiple platforms, from mobile to PC and console. Generally, these individuals had problems with one specific game rather than a problem spread across multiple titles. I did not observe a line between cosmetic economies, such as Overwatch, and economies that influence progression such as Battlefront II and Shadow of Mordor. The strongest common thread in all of these stories was a similar set of behaviors and impacts.

The people I spoke to by-and-large described their spending on loot boxes as impulsive, shameful, and stress-inducing. The urge to buy loot boxes and try to get epic gear was driven by limited events and peer pressure. One respondent reported accruing several thousands of dollars in debt playing Neverwinter Online. A player who spent hundreds on loot boxes told me they were egged on by “the slow reveal, the soft glow, the visuals of the loot exploding out of the top of the box, the couple of frames where the light turns gold,” and the kinds of presentation elements that are baked in to continue the allure.

And the Deep State whispered to Trump “You can’t withstand the storm,” to which Trump whispered back, “I am the storm.”

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