If you have ever played the popular First Person Shooter (FPS) game, Titanfall 2, you will most likely be familiar with the concept of loot boxes. These are containers which contain random items that can be won by playing the game. The items often have special properties that can be used in-game or for other purposes.
While many people enjoy the convenience of having random items drop as they play, there is a darker side to loot boxes which some people find quite disturbing. Several studies have shown that some people who play frequently become addicted to receiving such rewards and spend more time playing than they do doing other things. This, in turn, interferes with their life and wastes a lot of time. It is also thought that the mechanism used to determine the content of loot boxes often results in a form of gambling which is considered to be illegal in some jurisdictions.
The Addiction Potential
The addiction potential of any game, be it online, mobile, tablet, or PC, is largely determined by how easy it is for the user to become dependent on the game. That is not to say that all games with addictive properties are bad or dangerous. It depends on the user’s personal taste. Some people prefer their games to be challenging whilst others enjoy games which are simply easy to learn and play. Different strokes for different folks. As with any habit, some people are more prone to addiction than others. What is worrying, however, is that there are plenty of opportunities for people to become addicted to online games which offer a steady stream of rewards.
Addiction, when it occurs, tends to manifest itself in various ways. Generally, the individual will display a higher degree of obsession with their chosen game. Their performance will deteriorate, resulting in lower productivity at work and increased instances of anxiety and depression. They may also begin to lose friends and family as the addiction takes over their lives.
The Dangers of Gambling
Games which contain some element of gambling are, without a doubt, much more risky. Be that as it may, even games which are meant to be enjoyed and have no element of gambling still pose a threat to mental health. Most notably, there is a distinct chance that the player will develop addiction to such games. This addiction may then transition to illegal and/or harmful activities, such as gambling or online purchasing.
The element of betting or gambling, whether it is a small deposit on a fast-paced flash-based game or a wager on the outcome of a game of chance, always carries with it the possibility of losing money. It is a mathematical fact that you can never win big or guarantee winning anything playing games involving luck. If you do end up with something valuable, you will almost certainly have spent more than you could ever hope to recover. The important thing to keep in mind here is that whilst there are a variety of fun and exciting ways to make money online, the odds of eventual financial ruin are always there if you play for real.
If you or someone you know is showing signs of addiction to gambling or online gaming, there are licensed therapists who can help. They will be able to diagnose the particular issues causing the addiction and develop a suitable treatment plan. As a first step towards overcoming this terrible addiction, the patient should meet with the therapist on a regular basis and establish a solid foundation for healthy gameplay. Only then can they begin to feel confident enough to confront their problems head on and take the steps necessary to overcome their addictions.
If you are reading this, it’s quite likely that you either already play or are at least familiar with the concept of games involving random rewards. As previously stated, not all games with the characteristic of offering random rewards are bad. On the contrary, there are a variety of fun and exciting games out there which offer players the chance to win valuable prizes. The issue comes when a person begins to spend more time playing than doing other things in their life. This could, in turn, be resulting in the player becoming addicted to the game. When this happens, it becomes the responsibility of the individual to take steps to overcome their issues and, as a result, improve their quality of life.