Unrelated Study Verifies Wetness of Water
The Australian Environment and Communications Reference Committee performed a study of 7000 gamers in order to study the nature of loot boxes in games. The Australian study determined that loot boxes and gambling have similar psychological effects on players. So, whether or not they’re a form of gambling, loot boxes feel almost exactly like gambling.
According to the results of the study, “loot boxes share so many formal similarities with other forms of gambling that they meet the ‘psychological criteria’ to be considered gambling themselves.” Game companies try to distance their products from this comparison by pointing out “similarities between loot boxes and harmless products like trading cards or Kinder Surprise eggs.”
In other words, spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on loot boxes is more or less a textbook gambling addiction in disguise. One could argue that this kind of unhealthy behavior is present in some people regardless, but loot boxes are still designed to exploit this. While this isn’t the first time a separate governing body has officially recognized this problem, it certainly won’t be the last, either. How long before loot boxes are strictly regulated all over the world?