- Gaming practices in video games are linked to problem gambling and disordered gambling, according to research.
- The Coalition announced that if re-elected, it would change the classification of games containing “loot boxes”.
- A review of the current classification system was undertaken in 2019, but the findings have not yet been released.
As a parent, loot boxes and other gameplay features in video games worry me a lot,” Gaido said.
- Games that simulate gambling activity such as poker, slots, blackjack or roulette do not offer your child the opportunity to bet, win or lose real money, but do include actions similar to the actual game and often look and sound the same.
- Some games include “loot boxes” (“bundles”, “crates” and “cases”) containing items such as game currency, equipment, tools, weapons or “skins”.
- “‘Skins’ – used in some games to alter the appearance of a player’s weapon, gear or avatar – can vary in value depending on their rarity and popularity.
These are all mechanisms created to make the user spend as much money as possible — which is even more disturbing for a child who doesn’t even have the means to understand what is right or wrong to buy.
Source: Getty Images/MesquitaFMS
The use of “dark patterns”
These big companies thought, “How can I get my users to spend as much money as possible?” Let’s find a way. What has proven effective is creating a random system of rewards – and it works.
The eSafety Commissioner’s website warns: “There is concern that this feature [loot boxes] can give the impression that it is normal to pay for something whose value depends on chance and can potentially lead to gambling”.
The Coalition “would change the classification code for video games with loot boxes”
asks the government to publish the results of the review of the classification system
Source: Pexels/Jaroslav Nymburský
“We need a new classification system”
The content classification system should be redesigned to encompass all aspects of a video game compared to a book, for example.
The role of parents
Stefano Grassia with his own family. Source: Imagine Stefano Grassia’s fornita.