Loot boxes are harmful to children states report from two UK universities
Both financially and emotionally.
Two universities in the UK have teamed up on a report that studies the effects of loot boxes and gambling in gaming on children and young people, and come to the conclusion that they do cause harm, both financially and emotionally.
The report comes from Loughborough University and Newcastle University, with the exact findings stating, "In-game chance-based mechanisms, like loot boxes, can and do cause harm to children and young people, including forms of financial and emotional harm."
The report also adds that this is down to children being unable to easily track their spending and purchases, and that the design of gambling in games "borrows techniques from regulated gambling to entice players to engage for longer in digital games and spend more money."
To tackle this, the report has stated that the gaming industry "should have its own independent regulator" and that loot boxes should be age-restricted products, in-game currencies should be replaced with real world prices, and chance-based systems should be independently tested for "fairness and compliance with the stated rules of the game."
There was also a push for extra measures to be put in place, including parental controls, spending trackers, spending limits, and self-exclusion measures, all to protect young people from this type of monetisation.