There are many video games out there. When you browse your App Store, an advent comes up advertising the game. It promises to be a free-to-play game, but in reality is that true?  The free-to-play era is not a true notion, and we can all agree that ‘pay to win’ is here to stay. One of the games that employs this notion is Star Wars Battlefront II.  Playing this game, you can purchase loot boxes full of goodies, for a cost of course.  Will the player stop at just 1 loot box? And will he purchase another tomorrow?  The raise for spending and gambling has been raised many times, so let’s take a peek at some complaints posed, and concerns if you will.  

Star Wars Battlefront Ii Game
Star Wars Battlefront II is a pay-to-win game.

What is a loot box and how do you get your hands on one? 

If you think that gambling is heading over to land-based casinos, or just spending some cash online, think again!  Buying a loot box or two from your video game store is also another form of gambling online.  The Association of Psychology states that gambling is when an individual risks a certain amount of money in the hopes of obtaining something with more value to the player. Video and online games are mostly enjoyed by young people, hence this would pose a risk if youngsters started gambling and purchasing loot boxes at a small age. There is a very high chance that youngsters will gamble more than they should and this will pose a gambling addiction.  

Buying Loot Boxes
Buying a loot box or two from your video game store is also another form of gambling online.

How is this risk being mitigated? 

Whilst buying a loot box might not be a big risk, another risk in video games is the element of competition.  What is the player willing to do to hit, meet and exceed the competition?  Some inline video games just like Game of Thrones: Conquest offer you weekly and daily challenges where you and your respective house (allegiance) will play against other houses to top the leaderboards. Here player scores and leaderboards are displayed and you can easily see that one player is beating you and by how many points.  To support some special events, people can buy loot boxes and packs to advance in daily quests, and this is a risk.  The risk is buying more loot boxes than you can actually afford.  This is a known fact in the online world of ‘pay to play’ ethos.  

Game Of Thrones Conquest
Games like Game Of Thrones Conquest make players pay to win.

As we bring you this loot box review, there are currently 2 states that are pushing a bill to ban all games that offer players loot boxes (Just like Battlefront II and also Game of Thrones: Conquest) The same bill and politicians are asking players and people who play and who seem to have a problematic gambling stance to contact their respective legislator and also the respective Software Ratings Board.  

Game Of Thrones Conquest Revenue
It's very risky for young gamers.

Gambling and rewards go hand in hand.  The notion of someone paying a small amount of money to get a certain amount of elements that will help you progress in the game is quite common. The impact on people is quite substantial. Will people not caring the amount of money they spend as long as they stay in the game and in the competition. In reality, a sense of maturity and also a sense of responsibility kicks in the player, and some manage to stop on their own, leaving the game completely.  Other players, unfortunately, would not have the same willpower and might end up in the gutter of problematic gambling.  This is just a power struggle, where the player wants to be the best and surpass the competition.  

Casino Games
Many young gamers are playing casino games.

Youngsters that visit especially new online casinos will attempt their luck at games such as table games, fantasy football, or even video game playing. When a game in your app store has an (E) next to it, this means that it has been rated for Everyone, so everyone can wager in and play. This rating is based on the fact that the game would offer players a profanity filter where swear and bad words would be blacked out. Gambling, tobacco, and also other mature humor would be filtered in as well, with some games asking you if you are 18 years or over upon registration. Other games would be rated as (T) and that means that Teens would be able to play such games and not just everyone who decides to download the game.  

Bad Effect Of Games
Those games have bad effects on young gamers to some extend.

Is this a rising problem? 

If we take a look at many games like the video games that we mentioned earlier.  A serious problem might arise from the purchasing of loot boxes. Whilst adults would think once or twice before purchasing a loot box, youngsters do not have that notion of stoppage.  Could this be the begging of a gambling problem taking shape? 100%. 

Waste Money
Gamers have to pay for loot boxes

A massive concern is that gambling problems and addictions are quite easy to disguise in everyday life. Consequences from small gambling addictions might be carried forward in adulthood, and people who are vulnerable now could be gambling addicts in the future.  A gambler might want to just stop, but stopping is not an easy process, and some gamblers face massive financial debts, sometimes when it is way too late to tackle.  

Gaming Disorder
It causes gameing disorder in the youth.

There are other players that hate the notion of ‘pay to win’ and just leave games because some players advance so much, and the rest are just left behind. Loot boxes might be a good option for some, and frustration for the ‘free to play' players.  

How can I stop the stigma and help fellow young people? 

Whilst gambling addictions are quite easy to hide and layer into daily life, there are some things that you can do as a responsible adult.  Every little helps after all.

Talk To Youngsters
Talk to your children about the risks of gambling

Speak to youngsters - One of the best therapies in life is talking to young people about gambling and also the problems that gambling carries with it. Although some might decline to comment on having any gambling issues, raising awareness is an important element in helping the individual seek help. Whilst supervision is limited, awareness can be raised anytime.   

Join Outdoor Activities
Let Your Children Join Outdoor Activities

Provide different outlets for youngsters to have fun - In times of lockdowns and isolation, it is quite difficult to offer various outlets for youngsters.  Young people seem to gravitate towards playing online, some via desktop games, others at online casinos, and others play video games. Try to offer young people a different outlet. 

Entertainment Parental Controls Image
Playing Video Games Under Control.

Monitor what they are playing- We are not telling you to go snoop around and do a 24/7 surveillance on young people, but talking about gambling and also making sure that they do not end up in gambling issues is key. Talk to young people to see what they are playing, how the game works, and if you can help in any way.  

Minecraft
Playing age-appropriate games

Game Monitoring - Always make sure that young people are playing age-appropriate games and that the games are rated as E or T. This will make sure that the games are targeted for the age group and do not contain adult material. Whilst adults might have a better way of controlling gambling and gambling addictions, youngsters are not yet equipped with that filter.  

No Loot Boxes
Play games without buying loot boxes

Are the signs there?  Some of the most addictive games out there are the ones that demand that you gamble.  Addictive games normally have an element of competition, and allow you to purchase packs and loot boxes so you measure up and out win your competition.  If a young person is engulfed in a game and their world revolves around that, then that is already a sign that u need to check out some things and make sure that gambling is not taking place.  

Final Thoughts 

Video games have always shown to be an outlet where young people just spend some time.  Games offer an escape route from everyday’s mundane life, and that is okay. On the other hand, social gaming offers some risks to people’s everyday life.  The notion of being anti-social is not a good trait for young people working on their respective futures.

Healthy Games
Play game properly.

Young people should be outdoors, having fun, doing activities, and making a stamp on the world.  Forget loot boxes, forget being glued to a TV or a pc screen. The world has so much more to offer. One stance that the world should take, especially new online casinos are banning youngsters from gambling and just ticking the box if you are over 18. Online games are available for everyone to play, let's work together to protect young people from harm.