As video games have become an integral part of life, gaming websites have learned how to maximize their profits with loot box features. These loot box features entice the players to spend money to improve their gaming advantage. Online loot boxes are the virtual treasure chests that contain undisclosed items which may be used in video games. The boxes provide ways of customizing the characters or weapons the player uses. For example, a FIFA loot box may have featured players to create the ultimate team. The contents of the loot box may impact the progress of the video game, or they can be designed to convey your status in the game. Some loot boxes are won, but many are purchased with real money.
Why loot boxes should not be used
The loot boxes aren’t needed to play the online video games in which they appear, but the contents of the box can seem very tempting to the player. There can be a significant status symbol from getting a loot box in Fortnite. A loot box may also unlock unique features such as special skins or it may make weapons accessible to you during a video game. Some loot boxes provide you with the ability to select players for a team.
The highly prized loot boxes may be won, but gamers may opt to purchase loot boxes to gain an edge over other players rather than waiting to win one. The online loot box purchase is very manipulative. Rather than selling the exact feature or option to the player, it encourages the player to purchase multiple loot boxes without knowing their contents ahead of time. Players tend to purchase multiple boxes in the hopes of acquiring a desired item. This is very similar to gambling and children are extremely susceptible. They often end up spending more money than they planned on the game.
While there is no proof that loot boxes create an addiction like gambling, there is reason to urge caution with your children. If someone does become addicted to loot boxes and gaming, they may wind up spending thousands of dollars to gain the loot box items that they hoped for.
Consequences of loot boxes
Video game companies that allow adolescents to purchase loot boxes expose them to potentially negative behaviors like gambling. As adolescents spend more on loot boxes, they become more susceptible to problem gambling. The older adolescents who spent money on loot boxes displayed twice as many problem gambling behaviors as those who didn’t.
Debt from loot boxes is another large concern. Adolescents and adults are spending lots of money on loot boxes. The current loot box market is estimated at $17.82 billion. This spending has gotten out of control for some. In fact, one in ten young gamers goes into debt by spending money on loot boxes. This happens as the young players are focused on winning an online game at all costs to improve their online gaming advantage. The thrill of winning a loot box to create an unbeatable online team may be so intense that players aren’t concerned with the amount of money they spent on the loot boxes.
Financial debt in adolescents and young adults can have severe consequences on their future. Too much debt will impact a person’s ability to take out a loan to buy a car or a house. Financial debt can impact an individual’s mental health by triggering anxiety and depression, lower a person’s self-esteem, and it is associated with criminal activity. According to the 2020 Experian State of Credit Report, the individuals under 24 years of age on average have $10,942 worth of debt. An addiction to loot boxes and online gaming can increase that amount.
Loot boxes being banned
While there currently isn’t a ban on loot boxes, many countries all over the world are considering the regulation of loot boxes in gaming. An Australian member of Parliament is proposing a bill to ban loot boxes in games for children. The bill would prevent companies from targeting minors with loot box sales. Germany has proposed a reform to the country’s youth protection law. The reform will result in new standards applied to video games that use loot boxes.
Brazil has also taken steps towards banning loot boxes. Authorities have launched an inquiry based on the recommendations from the National Association of Child and Adolescent Defense Centers (ANCED). This association claims that randomized monetization mechanics are a form of gambling.
The Netherlands is one of the first countries to take solid action against the negative impact of loot boxes. They have determined that many of the leading games violate the Dutch gambling legislation. The Dutch are working with other European nations to tackle this problem head on. If you or someone you know has a problem with gambling, you can call the National Problem Gambling Helpline Network at (1-800-522-4700). But, if you or someone in your household has spent too much money on loot boxes this month and you are now short on rent money or money for other bills, consider a short-term emergency loan from Jora Credit today.