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Loot Boxes

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Hypophthalmichthys molitrix
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What are loot boxes?
NBC

Loot Boxes are a form of micro transactions that cost real-world currency to purchase in-game packages that can include everything from new characters and weapons to character costumes and even dance moves.

Loot boxes can now be found in many popular video games. A brief search on YouTube turns up thousands of videos of people opening loot boxes and discussing their contents — including younger gamers.

Much of the allure of loot boxes comes from the fact that players don’t actually know what they’ll get before they “open” the box. Most loot boxes contain common items, but some offer rare and valuable digital goods — some of which can then be sold on secondary markets for real money. “Skins” for guns in “Counter Strike” — essentially a paint job that does not affect the gun’s in-game effectiveness — are currently up for sale for hundreds and thousands of dollars.

Two researchers conducted a survey of more than 7,000 gamers and found "important links between loot box spending and problem gambling” and that gamers who displayed gambling addiction issues typically spent more money on video game loot boxes. The researchers warned that “buying loot boxes may therefore lead to problem gambling amongst gamers."

Loot boxes are a $30 billion industry and a major source of income for video game companies. The Entertainment and Software Ratings Board (ESRB) issued a statement to online video game media outlet Kotaku last year, pushing back on the characterization of loot boxes as gambling. “ESRB does not consider loot boxes to be gambling.

The next 'BitCoin' — skins

More plans to separate you from your money.

BF