Gambling isn't about the money. It's about the act of putting something on the line for something in return. That something could be very little or a whole lot. If you had a team of scientists conduct experiments on a group of gamers brains while opening loot boxes, you would likely find the same stimuli shooting off in their skulls as the average gambler.
I think the fact that gamers "get something of value" with each transaction is highly debatable. Have you ever heard of someone spending 10 dollars on loot crates, getting all shit out of the boxes and feeling good about it? They probably don't even equip the skins.
A stock Torbjorn skin in a different shade is about as good as nothing. Let's stop splitting hairs in this debate. The very act of putting money on the line with a head full of uncertainty is entirely equatable to gambling.
What's worse, irresponsible gamers (whales, as the exec's call them) have spent upwards of $20,000.00 in their games of choice. These accounts highlight not only the addictive nature of particular types of microtransactions, but the dangers of something like this being unregulated.
Another topic entirely is the effect these systems have on the games we look forward to.
Isn't it a little embarrassing that a game like Warframe is a free to play that implements its systems so well, the fanbase feels compelled to spend money every so often to continue supporting the developers?
Meanwhile AAA companies release full priced games, and want to shoehorn in poorly conceived free to play and mobile market systems that are only meant to force our hands into purchases.
So a company like Digital Extremes would be a smooth talker, who gets you out of your pants with charm.
EA would be that creep at the bar that slips a rufie in your martini when you aren't looking, then brings you home in his trunk to fuck your ass while you're unconscious and barely breathing.
I could edit that last line, but I'm not about to start censoring myself.
buy the Color Bars DLC @ Patreon:
No, I don't think these things should be considered in the same light as trading cards or Lego surprise packs. The people purchasing those can not obtain those products in any other way, besides trading. (and they do have the ability to trade. A valuable resource for collectors, but one that is denied us in almost every videogame using microtransactions)
Players are being denied their basic rights, and basic content is being cut out of games only to be sold to them on the side. It is this manipulation that deserves attention and regulation. We shouldn't be purchasing Destiny 2 only to find out that the perfectly acceptable shader system from the first game was axed in favor of a system that can be used against us and our wallets.
It's a combination of greed and manipulation. The negative ripples this behavior is sending through our industry means this a topic worth elevating.
Leave your thoughts in the comments.