Video game loot boxes are psychologically akin to gambling

@article{Drummond2018VideoGL,
  title={Video game loot boxes are psychologically akin to gambling},
  author={Aaron Drummond and James D. Sauer},
  journal={Nature Human Behaviour},
  year={2018},
  volume={2},
  pages={530-532}
}
Video games are increasingly exposing young players to randomized in-game reward mechanisms, purchasable for real money — so-called loot boxes. Do loot boxes constitute a form of gambling? 
Why loot boxes could be regulated as gambling
TLDR
Using market data from real transactions, it is shown that virtual items have real-world monetary value and therefore could be regulated under existing gambling legislation. Expand
Meta-analysis of the relationship between problem gambling, excessive gaming and loot box spending
Loot boxes are purchasable randomized rewards contained in some video games. Concerns have been raised that these share psychological and structural features with traditional forms of gambling, and...
Video game loot boxes are linked to problem gambling: Results of a large-scale survey
TLDR
It is unclear from this study whether buying loot boxes acts as a gateway to problem gambling, or whether spending large amounts of money on loot boxes appeals more to problem gamblers, but results suggest that there may be good reason to regulate loot boxes in games. Expand
Is Simulating Casino Environments in Video Games Worse than Gambling with Loot Boxes? The Case of the Removed Pokémon Game Corner
This study focuses on the effectiveness of video game age ratings to take into account gambling. As a case example, we look at games in the Pokémon franchise where a casino-resembling “game corner”Expand
Loot Box Pricing and Design
In the online video game industry, a significant portion of the revenue is generated from microtransactions, where a small amount of real-world currency is exchanged for virtual items to be used in...
Loot Box Pricing and Design
In the online video game industry, a significant portion of the revenue is generated from microtransactions, where a small amount of real-world currency is exchanged for virtual items to be used in...
Links between problem gambling and spending on booster packs in collectible card games: A conceptual replication of research on loot boxes
TLDR
Although collectable card game booster packs, like loot boxes, share structural similarities with gambling, it appears that they may not be linked to problem gambling in the same way as loot boxes. Expand
Which Implementations of Loot Boxes Constitute Gambling? A UK Legal Perspective on the Potential Harms of Random Reward Mechanisms
  • Leon Y. Xiao
  • International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction
  • 2020
Loot boxes are virtual items in video games that offer the player randomised in-game rewards of uncertain in-game and real-world value. Paid loot boxes represent a lucrative and prevalentExpand
The relationship of loot box purchases to problem video gaming and problem gambling.
TLDR
Insight is provided into the role of loot box purchasing in the transition from recreational engagement in video gaming and online gambling to problem videoGaming and/or problem gambling. Expand
Rare Loot Box Rewards Trigger Larger Arousal and Reward Responses, and Greater Urge to Open More Loot Boxes
TLDR
This work shows that loot boxes containing rarer items are more valuable, arousing, rewarding and urge-inducing to players, similar to the way slots gamblers treat rare large wins in slots play, and elucidate the structural similarities between loot boxes and specific gambling games. Expand
...
1
2
3
4
5
...

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 11 REFERENCES
Why do People Gamble and Keep Gambling despite Heavy Losses?
If a long series of gambles is subjectively structured into units each consisting of a string of consecutive losses followed by a win, positive valued strings will be short and negative valuedExpand
Early exposure to digital simulated gambling: A review and conceptual model
TLDR
A two-pathway model of risk and protective factors is proposed that conceptualizes the potential risks and benefits of early exposure to a variety of digital simulated gambling activities and identifies structural features that may contribute to risk of gambling problems. Expand
Risk Factors for Problematic Gambling: A Critical Literature Review
TLDR
A critical review of risk factors for pathological gambling categorized by demographics, physiological and biological factors, cognitive distortions, comorbidity and concurrent symptoms, and personality symptoms and characteristics finds very few well established risk factors. Expand
Risk, compensatory, protective, and vulnerability factors related to youth gambling problems.
TLDR
Using a cross-sectional design, regression analyses indicated that among a sample of mostly first-generation immigrant adolescents from low-income homes, social bonding was associated with a decrease in gambling problems while peer and neighborhood risk were associated with an increase in betting problems, net of personal risk attributes. Expand
Notes from the editor
There is a relatively new area of inquiry in psychotherapy referred to as "psychotherapy integration," which explores the possibility of using multiple theoretical schools of therapy integratively.Expand
Gambling regulators to investigate ‘loot boxes
  • in video games. The Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/games/2017/
  • 2017
How loot boxes led to never-ending games (and always-paying players)
  • Rolling Stone https://www.rollingstone
  • 2017
Adolescent Gambling (Psychology Press
  • 1995
Gambling regulators to investigate ‘ loot boxes ’ in video games
    ...
    1
    2
    ...