Rello-Evante

Are Loot Boxes Gambling? What's your take on it.

95 posts in this topic

So the UK's House of Lords only recently classified in-game loot boxes as gambling and wants to have them under gambling legislature/regulation.

 

https://www.vg247.com/2020/07/02/uk-house-of-lords-loot-boxes-gambling/

 

Just wanted to know what everyone's take on it is - since 'loot boxes' are pretty much a staple in many games over the past decade. 

 

Personally I'm just worried about where the line would be - there's a difference between games of chance and RNG and just how future game mechanics/features will change.

 

I know other EU countries have certain restrictions already in place in regards to FIFA/NBA and if anyone has more to expand on this, please share.

 

Also, China had a similar law passed above with mobile gacha games where drop rates had to be clearly visible, I wonder if this will be seen in future games.

 

Anyways, just wanted to have some chatter and see what the great minds of PSNProfiles thought about this.

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1 minute ago, Cobby said:

Pay money for a chance at a prize (big or small), yeah it's gambling... 

 

Now what about games that don't have in-app purchases but have chance-games that award prizes with only in-game currency?

 

FF7 has a whole casino with mini-games where you could earn tokens to trade for prizes (Golden Saucer) - might be a bit dated for reference, but it was the first one that popped to mind.

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1 minute ago, Rello-Evante said:

 

Now what about games that don't have in-app purchases but have chance-games that award prizes with only in-game currency?

 

FF7 has a whole casino with mini-games where you could earn tokens to trade for prizes (Golden Saucer) - might be a bit dated for reference, but it was the first one that popped to mind.

It's still gambling, whether it's real money or in game, you're gambling your chances at earning something better. It's gambling.

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Yeah, it's gambling.  It's not "put your house up for collateral" gambling, but it's still gambling.

 

I don't find it as deplorable as most other people though.  I won't do it, it helps I don't really play the kinds of games where it'd matter, but if someone wants to spend their money on that then go for it.  If you can't afford it or don't like it, then don't do it.  There are a lot of temptations and bad ideas in life, take responsibility.

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4 minutes ago, UlvenFenrir said:

At least you know what prizes you can earn and its not a 000000.1% chance. With fifa or any other game, nba for example which are heavy monetized is advertised as “e” for everyone which include kids and if they want their favorite player in a card pack they wont know what cards will be in that pack and the chances of them getting the player they want is extremely low.

 

That kind of addiction can lead to serious problems as they grow up. Sure video games is addicting too, you could say every hobby is addicting but as the saying goes, everything in moderation and a sense of self control and awareness. Kids dont have that at an early age usually which is also why you see some kids ruining their life because they become too addictive to video games if their parents doesnt “parent” them. Same goes for adults but at least youre fully developed.

 

My point is, games are expensive as is, no need to shove a real life casino into them and having you empty the bank account and/or ruin your life if youre easily susceptible to getting addicted to any kind of gambling. Which btw these publishers/companies prey on, hiring psychologists as well to determine the best way to implement gambling into said video games.

The biggest problem I have with em, besides getting people addicted to spening obscene amount of money on em, is kids who don't understand how easily money is spent, if a parent has their card details on a console, a kid will quite easily rack up hundreds/thousands of pounds/dollars of debt and not realise what they've done. 

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36 minutes ago, Cobby said:

The biggest problem I have with em, besides getting people addicted to spening obscene amount of money on em, is kids who don't understand how easily money is spent, if a parent has their card details on a console, a kid will quite easily rack up hundreds/thousands of pounds/dollars of debt and not realise what they've done. 

Any parent who leaves their personal financial information around for their children to abuse has bigger problems than their children buying loot boxes

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Yup, its also to win prizes that can be hard and maybe against tos to convert into cash, also tends to be full of worthless prizes.

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Posted (edited)

I'm curious what their take will be on games like Hearthstone (if at all). While 'loot box' is the wrong word here, randomised card packs can be purchased to boost your collection and play decks, so it is not just cosmetic stuff (although golden cards are a thing). However, buying packs can become just as addicitve with the wanting to buy 'just one more' pack for another shot at a legendary card.

Edited by BOOTP
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4 minutes ago, majob said:

Any parent who leaves their personal financial information around for their children to abuse has bigger problems than their children buying loot boxes

Considering every bit of info you need to use a credit card is on it..... cant imagine it'd be that hard for the average teen to get ahold of those #s.

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16 minutes ago, BOOTP said:

I'm curious what their take will be on games like Hearthstone (if at all). While 'loot box' is the wrong word here, randomised card packs can be purchased to boost your collection and play decks, so it is not just cosmetic stuff (although golden cards are a thing). However, buying packs can become just as addicitve with the wanting to buy 'just one more' pack for another shot at a legendary card.

 

Yes! I was trying to remember which game I wanted to use as an example.

This was one of them! 

 

There has always been a fascination with 'surprise' mechanics ever since we were kids ( Kinder chocolate eggs anyone :P ?), and I definitely had that feeling with Hearthstone whenever you opened new packs. Heck, the whole premise of card games (Magic, Pokemon, Yu Gi Oh) was to buy and open new packs.

 

It's a weird grey area that I'm curious to see how it turns out, cause I really hope they don't just disable the ability to purchase card packs (as that will cripple developer incomes).

 

 

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It's gambling.

Just playing Injustice 2, which has lootboxes with  virtual currency pissed me off, imagine paying with real cash.

Kids with the parent's credit card are just an excuse to gain sympathy points (though kids being bullied into buying super mega special skins, otherwise they're trash is another problem), there are many people in the videogame medium with fucked up dopamine receptors, ready for the picking, and so, due to this, companies  still have incentives to put stuff like this, which ends up affecting the quality of the game and how to "complete" it, even for those who are not gambling addicts.

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55 minutes ago, BOOTP said:

I'm curious what their take will be on games like Hearthstone (if at all). While 'loot box' is the wrong word here, randomised card packs can be purchased to boost your collection and play decks, so it is not just cosmetic stuff (although golden cards are a thing). However, buying packs can become just as addicitve with the wanting to buy 'just one more' pack for another shot at a legendary card.

 

Buying card packs is still gambling. You could get the worst 10 cards every time you open them or the best 10. However, if you buy a game that is based around cards or something like that, you should already know about the gambling ahead of time. Yeah, it still isn't a great practice in this situation, but if you buy a game for the loot in the lootboxes, don't complain with how long it might take you to get it.

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Posted (edited)

who remembers the casino in dragon quest 11? now THAT is what I call gambling!

 

no, seriously, to me it's like seeing a bird. ea and all the other fvcks might tell me it's an elephant, but in the end it's still a bird

Edited by Alaquia
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1 minute ago, Alaquia said:

who remebers the casino in dragon quest 11? now THAT is what I call gambling!

 

no, seriously, to me it's like seeing bird. ea and all the other fvcks might tell me it's an elephant, but in the end it's still a bird

Pretty much its a roll of the dice,Notably: say for instance its for a character/class ppl/gamers/users don't use then couldn't they have refunds for more credit?

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Here is the gambling definition according to https://www.britannica.com/topic/gambling

 

The betting or staking of something of value, with consciousness of risk and hope of gain, on the outcome of a game, a contest, or an uncertain event whose result may be determined by chance or accident or have an unexpected result by reason of the bettor’s miscalculation.

 

And now loot boxes: 

 

Consumable virtual item which can be redeemed to receive a randomized selection of further virtual items, or loot, ranging from simple customization options for a player's avatar or character, to game-changing equipment such as weapons and armor. A loot box is typically a form of monetization, with players either buying the boxes directly or receiving the boxes during play and later buying "keys" with which to redeem them.

 

In order for something to be considered gambling, three things need to be present. 

 

1) An amount wagered (something of value)

2) The risk of loss

3) The potential reward

 

So yeah, I'd say loot boxes are definitely a form of gambling. The fact that these major companies are using video games as an avenue to exploit children is pretty disgusting and its about time people outside of the video game world are catching on to these predatory practices. 

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Posted (edited)

It's gambling. Real currency or not, I decided very young that I am never going into a casino, that I have exactly the type of personality that would get suck into the slots machines and similar. You know what made me settle that about my self: Neopets, had numerous gambling... It didn't even try to dress it up.

 

I avoid loot boxes mechanics as much I can, because everytime I test any 'free' one I can feel the just one more is not big deal mindset creeping in, I never got into card games because at first I couldn't really afford even one package and when finally had my own money to do so I decided that if I started I wouldn't stop. The trill of opening new packages over and over, is too easy to just drop everything you got into it without even realizing it.

 

Is predatory to dress it up, use creative language to skirt around the truth and fuck people over, specially marketing towards children.

 

So, in my opinion they can keep offering those mechanics all the want. But proper labeling and up front about it, and at the very least not market it as 'E'. Hell they will still make tons of money anyway...

Edited by dark_moon689
Missing the last paragraph
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3 hours ago, Rello-Evante said:

 

Now what about games that don't have in-app purchases but have chance-games that award prizes with only in-game currency?

 

FF7 has a whole casino with mini-games where you could earn tokens to trade for prizes (Golden Saucer) - might be a bit dated for reference, but it was the first one that popped to mind.

 

You are still gambling, just with fictional money instead of actual money. 

1 hour ago, MrBenosaurus said:

Oh they're 100% gambling. While publishers and the ESRB (who, of course, are financially connected to most AAA companies) love employing clever wordplay and mental gymnastics to make you believe otherwise, there is a reason these greedy corporations love shoving loot boxes in every possible game: they rake in an exorbitant amount of $$$ by psychologically exploiting certain kinds of players.

 

Psycho-behaviourally speaking, it's gambling: the variable-rate reinforcement payoff, which is exactly how slot machines function, is dangerously addicting. They know this - just look how dressed up games are when you actually win something: bright lights, colours, bombastic music, etc. This is another reinforcing tactic that helps maintain the player's compulsion to keep spending by boosting the "winning experience" and creating a psychological rush that people will keep chasing.

 

While there are plenty of games with in-game casinos like FF7 or DQ11, the use of actual money for video game gambling is significantly more dangerous because it is functionally equivalent to regular ol' slot machines AND has the same real-world consequences. Many argue "well people just need to make better decisions and monitor their kids" and while I agree with that, the fact is that kids can't just legally walk into a casino and get their addictions started early. On the other hand, they CAN go out and legally buy a game rated 'E' (like any sports game) and gamble away. 

 

The games industry needs to be held accountable for this. And since accountability is not a priority for any of these companies, we need actual legislation. 

 

Hit the nail on the head with this comment

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Posted (edited)

Are loot boxes gambling?

 

 

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Edited by Zenpai
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