By the same authors

From the same journal

From the same journal

Video game loot boxes are linked to problem gambling: Results of a large-scale survey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Full text download(s)

Published copy (DOI)

Author(s)

Department/unit(s)

Publication details

JournalPLoS ONE
DateAccepted/In press - 29 Oct 2018
DatePublished (current) - 21 Nov 2018
Number of pages12
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Loot boxes are items in video games that can be paid for with real-world money and contain randomised contents. In recent years, loot boxes have become increasingly common. There is concern in the research community that similarities between loot boxes and gambling may lead to increases in problem gambling amongst gamers. A large-scale survey of gamers (n=7,422) found evidence for a link (η2=0.054) between the amount that gamers spent on loot boxes and the severity of their problem gambling. This link was stronger than a link between problem gambling and buying other in-game items with real-world money (η2=0.004), suggesting that the gambling-like features of loot boxes are specifically responsible for the observed relationship between problem gambling and spending on loot boxes. It is unclear from this study whether buying loot boxes acts as a gateway to problem gambling, or whether spending large amounts of money on loot boxes appeals more to problem gamblers. However, in either case these results suggest that there may be good reason to regulate loot boxes in games.

Bibliographical note

©2018 Zendle, Cairns.

    Research areas

  • video games, problem gambling, loot boxes, survey

Discover related content

Find related publications, people, projects, datasets and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations