Rello-Evante

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

95 posts in this topic

Like pretty much everyone else, I would agree that this is gambling by almost all definitions. 

 

The bigger question is what is the role of personal responsibility? While the mechanics are meant to be addictive and they are known to prey on some individuals, a person can always choose not to engage.So by that cookie-cutter logic, developers should have the option to include the mechanics if they desire.

 

I did the Fortnite grind and I bought probably $30-ish worth of V-bucks. I actually enjoyed opening the llamas and can truly see why it would be addicting. Is it kind of gross to include those mechanics? Yes. However, I'm realistic enough to know that until developers have a way to make money through another method, they will continue down the path of loot box and microtransactions. 

 

I wish there was an easy solution, but I know that it isn't all black-and-white. 

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5 minutes ago, iamthedotcom said:

The bigger question is what is the role of personal responsibility? While the mechanics are meant to be addictive and they are known to prey on some individuals, a person can always choose not to engage.So by that cookie-cutter logic, developers should have the option to include the mechanics if they desire.


The real issue up for debate is transparency. Are people informed about what they’re getting in to? Are they being duped with no recourse? Who is overseeing that payouts match the odds that there should be?

 

If loot boxes are classified as gambling officially, they will be subject to the same rules and laws as gambling. If developers want to include those mechanics so that people, like yourself, choose to use them, they would be able to do so as long as they meet the requirements. 

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2 hours 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. 

Well put and totally agree, especially with kids the part. Also I watched this video from angry joe literally 10 minutes ago. 

 

 

ESRB and PEGI definitely need to update its rating. At least telling that it includes lootboxes and gambling stuff. 

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Just now, DaivRules said:


The real issue up for debate is transparency. Are people informed about what they’re getting in to? Are they being duped with no recourse? Who is overseeing that payouts match the odds that there should be?

 

If loot boxes are classified as gambling officially, they will be subject to the same rules and laws as gambling. If developers want to include those mechanics so that people, like yourself, choose to use them, they would be able to do so as long as they meet the requirements. 

Incredibly fair point. If loot boxes are here to stay, then there is nothing wrong with some oversight and transparency.

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I see two scenarios.

 

1. You buy loot boxes with IN GAME currency, you can only obtain through playing the game.

2. You can buy the loot boxes with real life money.

 

In 1. it's not gambling.

In 2. it's most definitely gambling.

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6 hours 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

The thing is, not many older parents understand it. They put their details in to buy their kid a game, then the details are stored and you don't need any passwords or anything to prevent kids spending thousands of pounds/dollars, the game itself doesn't cap it either, so a lot of damage can be done, it's not like buying off a website that'll ask for passwords or the security number of the back of ya card.

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Loot boxes are 100% gambling, but so are a lot of aspects of video games. Loot boxes draw a line, though, by using real-world money and, in some games, you can sell the item for real-world money. Games with that back-and-forth should definitely be regulated as gambling. I'm less clear on games that don't have the sell-back feature, but I would probably say they should be regulated as well if real-world money is a requirement. 

 

Honestly, there should be video games and DLC and maybe some cosmetics, but nothing else should be for sale when it comes to video games. 

 

A fun snippet I have is that I once had a professor who worked at a casino, but she would say she worked in the "games industry". There is definitely some kind of weird blurry line between video games and gambling games that should probably be outlined better.

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No more gambling than buying a physical pack of baseball/Pokémon/whatever cards.  Oh the horrors!

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Sure it's gambling but I simply don't care. 

You either support it or you don't, with your wallet. The practice will stay or disappear based on the profits that are made.

 

The whining about transparency is nonsense, when you don't have odds for other forms of gambling. What are the odds of winning at each individual slot machine? I don't know about the UK, but here in Canada, you don't get to see the pre determined odds. 

 

As for the protect the children nonsense, it's the parents who are enabling the gambling. Kid's wouldn't be buying loot boxes if parents did their job. I'm the care giver for my niece, who just turned 10. You know how much gambling she does with loot boxes? None.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I don't buy loot boxes, but I don't think they are gambling.

 

The key reason for me is when you gamble you either lose or win, however, you always get something when you use a loot box.

 

Depending on the system in place(there are really good ones and really bad ones), if there are no dupes you are moving closer to your desired loot.

 

 

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8 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.

wouldn't consider that in the same category as loot boxes. you only pay for the base game with ff7, you can't purchase in game credits or loot boxes. but anything where you can spend real money to buy a chance just a chance at getting something rare and useful. now that. that is gambling

17 minutes ago, djb5f said:

No more gambling than buying a physical pack of baseball/Pokémon/whatever cards.  Oh the horrors!

incorrect. with baseball and pokemon cards you are getting a physical item. something you can hold in your hand. some that has worth, albeit very little most of the time. loot boxes are fake. they have nothing in them that is truely tangible. you can't hold it in your hands. can't turn around and sell what you got for money (other than in game credits at best) not even remotely similar.

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It's no more gambling than buying a pack of trading cards from a store. The sudden amount of stupidity around video game gambling is staggering. 

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Posted (edited)

Yep, it is. Que up a Jimquisition video for my argument lol.

Edited by AlphaExGAT
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I am not sure that loot boxes are 100% like gambling but I don't care. They are fucking cancer and they need to go. Problem is, as soon as they are banned (or regulated - which is the same thing to the gaming industry) then yet another predatory tactic will appear. Because how else are they going to assure their share holders that next year will be even better? You can't do that by making a game and selling it.

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The only people that don't say it's gambling are people that profit off of them.

 

24 minutes ago, TJ_Solo said:

It's no more gambling than buying a pack of trading cards from a store. The sudden amount of stupidity around video game gambling is staggering. 

 

Not true at all. When you buy a pack of cards, you get these cards as a physical item. So even if you don't get what you're looking for, you always have to option to trade or sell them. With these virtual items, they tend to just sit there in your inventory, since you have no other use for them.

 

And since the cards you bought are physical items, that means you in turn have the option of buying or trading for the cards you're looking for from other people or stores. So you don't necessarily have to keep buying packages of random cards to get what you want. How many games allow you to trade your virtual garbage for someone else's virtual garbage? How many games allow other stores to sell you what you're looking for?

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Quote

 

Not true at all. When you buy a pack of cards, you get these cards as a physical item. So even if you don't get what you're looking for, you always have to option to trade or sell them. With these virtual items, they tend to just sit there in your inventory, since you have no other use for them.


 

 

It is still true even if one is digital while the other is physical.

Your logic would mean a digital copy of a game isn't still a game just because the physical version has the option of buying/selling.

Nitpicking over differences doesn't defeat the similarities. 

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Posted (edited)

Yes they are, but they are not instinctively predatory just like how the idea of gambling itself is not instinctively predatory.
If loot boxes are in a closed system were you can't do anything with the "items" besides used them as is or turn them into stuff like "dust" or "coins" then yes they are predatory.
If loot boxes are in a open system where you can trade the items with other people or sell the item for cash then they are just a form of normal luck based gambling.
 

Unfortunately most gaming companies used the predatory version of loot boxes, even most of the digital card games use predatory card packs.
The only game I can think of that didn't use predatory versions of lootboxs/Card packs was Valve's card game Artifact. (Which paradoxically upset people because it didn't have the predatory versions of the system in it)

Edited by Wavergray
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8 minutes ago, TJ_Solo said:

 

It is still true even if one is digital while the other is physical.

Your logic would mean a digital copy of a game isn't still a game just because the physical version has the option of buying/selling.

Nitpicking over differences doesn't defeat the similarities. 

 

Your analogy makes no sense. You said,"It's no more gambling than..." and I proved you don't need to gamble in order to get a specific card from a physical pack, but you're forced to gamble if you're looking for a specific item from one of these games.

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1 minute ago, Wavergray said:

Yes they are, but they are not instinctively predatory just like how the idea of gambling itself is not instinctively predatory.
If loot boxes are in a closed system were you can't do anything with the "items" besides used them as is or turn them into stuff like "dust" or "coins" then yes they are predatory.
If loot boxes are in a open system where you can trade the items with other people or sell the item for cash then they are just a form of normal luck based gambling.
 

Unfortunately most gaming companies used the predatory version of loot boxes, even most of the digital card games use predatory card packs.
The only game I can think of that didn't use predatory versions of lootboxs/Card packs was Valve's card game Artifact. (Which paradoxically upset people because it didn't have the predatory versions of the system in it)

 

 

Predatory gambling isn't defined by having the ability to trade or sell items.

1 minute ago, ShadeSplit said:

 

Your analogy makes no sense. You said,"It's no more gambling than..." and I proved you don't need to gamble in order to get a specific card from a physical pack, but you're forced to gamble if you're looking for a specific item from one of these games.

 

You said that already and you didn't prove anything. You pointed out that one could sell physical cards which suppoedly doesn't make card packs gambling.

You make no sense. 

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6 minutes ago, TJ_Solo said:

 

 

Predatory gambling isn't defined by having the ability to trade or sell items.

 

You said that already and you didn't prove anything. You pointed out that one could sell physical cards which suppoedly doesn't make card packs gambling.

You make no sense. 

 

If you don't understand that having the option to buy what you want directly removes the need to gamble, then there is nothing more anyone can say to you.

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Posted (edited)

6 minutes ago, ShadeSplit said:

 

If you don't understand that having the option to buy what you want directly removes the need to gamble, then there is nothing more anyone can say to you.

 

That wasn't the point of my comment. You're being dishonest because you can't admit how wrong you are.

Thanks for proving my other point though.

Edited by TJ_Solo
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3 minutes ago, TJ_Solo said:

 

That wasn't the point of my comment. You're being dishonest because you can't admit how wrong you are.

Thanks for proving my other point though.

 

If that wasn't the point of your comment, then you should have made the point you wanted to make instead. No one can read your mind. As it stands, you said "It's no more gambling than...", which is wrong.

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Microtransactions and lootboxes are the cancer of gaming

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Posted (edited)

5 minutes ago, ShadeSplit said:

 

If that wasn't the point of your comment, then you should have made the point you wanted to make instead. No one can read your mind. As it stands, you said "It's no more gambling than...", which is wrong.

 

I made my point that loot boxes are gambling just like trade cards are gambling. You pointed out the differences between physical products and digital products. Said difference doesn't disprove the similarity I commented about.

 

Also, analogies are not about being the exact same in every aspect. Analogies are about comparing the similarities. 

Edited by TJ_Solo
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1 hour ago, VigilantCrow said:

I don't know about the UK, but here in Canada, you don't get to see the pre determined odds. 


Yes you do. You probably haven’t looked for it, but it’s absolutely there. 

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