Significant new research indicates that loot boxes may not be the villain the social police have been making them out to be – or at least not the only enemy of the social order. The spotlight is now being directed at a variety of other elements used and practices employed by some of the world’s leading big-name developers of video games. These include the subtle deployment of real-money wagering, gambling with virtual tokens, and even virtual currencies used to play social casino games.
Conversations and debates have been so focused on loot boxes being public enemy number 1 to the video games industry, that the supposed negative effects of social casinos and other forms of virtual as well as real-money engagement have for the most part been left completely out of the gambling addiction- and minors engaging in real-money wagering and betting equation.
Loot boxes obviously remain problematic and exceptionally controversial a discussion point, with several European countries having either already outright banned games offering loot boxes for sale, or currently considering instituting same.
Conversations around whether or not loot boxes should be classified as gambling intensified upon the release of a damning report compiled by a researcher-academic at the University of York, namely Dr David Zendle. The report put it to the UK’s House of Commons that loot boxes should be regulated in the same way and according to the same regulations as real-money gambling games. This would obviously imply that games containing loot boxes should carry strict age restrictions and be subject to regional gambling laws and policies.
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