October 24, 2019
Doom 3. No gambling. Just fun.
It is important to note that there’s a difference between games that were designed to be fun or to have an engaging story and games that were designed to be addictive. With the coming of mobile gaming, casual games turned into not-so-casual mini-casinos readily available in everyone’s pockets.
These games adopted gambling mechanics on purpose, and are designed from the ground up to push all of the right buttons in people’s heads to be addictive and to keep you “engaged.”
“Diamonds” and “coins” are often used as representations of real-world currency to mess with people’s heads.
What happens when children walk into one of these traps?
Online games that charge children money should be treated in the same way as full-blown gambling websites, a watchdog said yesterday.
The games can cost children hundreds of pounds, and in some cases those who pay large sums are gambling on what advantages they will get to help them win or get to a higher level, a report said.
It warned that ‘loot boxes’, in which players pay for unknown and randomised game tools, can lead to children losing control of spending and chasing losses in the same way as gambling addicts.
If games that charge children money should be treated like gambling websites, then what is there to discuss? They shouldn’t be allowed to target children and children shouldn’t be allowed to play these games, because they’re the same as gambling.
Or are we going to let children get into the world of gambling?
The report from Children’s Commissioner Anne Longfield said loot boxes in games such as FIFA should be classed as gambling under reforms of the Gambling Act.
It also called for spending restrictions in games which children can play.
Oh, okay, so children can become moderate gambling addicts.
Miss Longfield said: ‘Playing games online can be rewarding and exciting and help children to develop strategic skills and friendships, but they are also open to exploitation by games companies, who play on their need to keep up with friends and to advance to further stages of a game by encouraging children to spend on loot boxes.
‘Children have told us they worry they are gambling when they buy loot boxes, and it is clear some children are spending hundreds of pounds chasing their losses. I want the Government to classify loot boxes in games like FIFA as a form of gambling. A maximum daily spend limit for children would also be reassuring for parents and children themselves.’
I guess they mean children spend their fathers’ money.
The concerns are okay and all but if these games are a form of gambling then what is up with this “children are allowed to do a little bit of gambling, but not too much, every day” approach?
These games are either using the same or similar gambling mechanics that casinos use (they are) or they’re not, and if they are, children shouldn’t be allowed near them.
The report said 93 per cent of children play video games, and praised the games not only as sources of enjoyment but as an aid to planning, teamwork and creative skills.
But it pointed to the problems generated by the system in which children are pressured to pay to get on in the game, or to keep up with friends.
The report added that some children feel addicted to games and cannot haul themselves away from their screens.
Simone Vibert, of the Children’s Commissioner’s Office, said: ‘For too long policy-makers have focused their attention on the social media giants.
‘This research shows that for many children, online gaming is just as important in their lives and poses a distinct set of benefits and risks.
‘It is striking to hear children say that what they sometimes participate in looks and feels like gambling and that they don’t always feel able to control the amount of time they spend online playing.’
Games should be games, not gambling devices. It is one thing to require a one-time purchase to access the game or a monthly subscription-type of payment to gain access to the game, but quite another to encourage random spending inside the game with no guarantee of obtaining anything in return.
These things are rewiring the brains of entire generations.