In recent years, the discussion surrounding gambling in video games has grown steadily. This discussion is not about digital casinos, as one might think, but instead about video game content, such as loot boxes. These can usually be bought for real money and offer players, among other things, new designs for their character models or weapons, but in some cases also stronger equipment that gives you better chances against other players online. The common thing about loot boxes is that you have no control over what you get and some of the prizes are very rare. If you want a particularly rare item, it can quickly become expensive. In addition, some games such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive have their own websites outside of the game.
The main focus of the discussion is on the protection of minors. Many games that have gambling elements can be played by children and young people without too much trouble. Especially with children there is a risk that they will spend a lot of real money in games, as they are particularly susceptible to the attractively designed elements. Many of these systems can be found in games with low age restrictions. In addition, some of the games are even offered for free in stores on the PC, mobile phone or consoles and can therefore be downloaded and played without any problems. Since they are free of charge but still have to finance themselves, these so-called free-to-play games in particular often use gambling systems.
It is currently still unclear how video game companies should best deal with these game mechanics and how they will have to change in the next few years. Before buying or downloading a new game, find out how you can protect yourself from loot boxes and the like, whether the game uses such systems. You have to pay close attention to this, especially in multiplayer and free-to-play games.
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