Are ‘loot boxes’ in video games a form of gambling?

Paying real money for ‘loot boxes’ in some video games, such as past versions of ‘Call of Duty’, was the only way to score top virtual weapons. Critics say this is no different from playing slot machines. ‘Loot boxes’ have since been removed from later games in the series, such as ‘Call Of Duty: Black Ops Cold War’, pictured here. — Activision/TNS

As the father of an avid video game player, I’ve long been fascinated by the economics of the virtual world he inhabits.

Perhaps the biggest development in recent years has been the trend of companies giving away top-notch games that previously might have sold for US$60 (RM248), and then persuading players to spend big bucks on upgrades to enhance their enjoyment or provide a competitive edge.

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Loot boxes , gambling , addictive behaviour


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