Gambling in video games has become such a prevalent form of monetisation in the gaming industry. Our youth have come to accept this feature as a fun way of earning some in-game items. This is the biggest deception that is being sold to our youth today. Muslims are gambling in video games without knowing.
Game developers openly employ neuroscience methods into their games in order to deceive the player into purchasing these in-game items called ‘Loot boxes’. These ‘Loot boxes’ are in almost every major big-budget video game and even in iPhone games. ‘Loot boxes’ are in-game items that the player can purchase. These ‘Loot boxes’ are opened and the player has a chance to win skins, guns and other items to use in the game. Some items are rare and some items are worthless. The players can then sell these items to other players in the game.
Some psychologists have discovered that the feeling derived from opening these ‘loot boxes’ can trigger a feeling of rush that is very similar to abusing drugs or playing the slot machines in the casino. Essentially these ‘Lootboxes’ are a form of gambling in video games. Game developers employ ‘fake currency’ in their games in order to trick the consumer into thinking that the money they are spending is not really ‘real money’. The same confusion happens to people who spend their money on a debit card. A recent study came to the conclusion that ‘people are willing to pay more for the same products with debit cards than with cash.’ (Runnemark, Hedman and Xiao, 2015)
Gambling in Video Games: Call of Duty Lootboxes
Gambling in Video Games: Fifa18 packs
Gambling in Video Games: Overwatch Lootboxes
Make no mistake this feature is a form of GAMBLING IN VIDEO GAMES. The scary thing is that Muslims who play these games have no idea that this it is gambling in video games. Individuals working in the gaming industry will openly confess that ‘ they’re just a thinly veiled gambling system used to exploit players.’ (Beck, 2017).
The Star Wars Battlefront franchise (EA) has recently been under fire for including gambling in video games of their own that directly affect whether a player may or may not win online matches. This is exploitative as players either can spend up to 40 hours of play time and then unlock certain rare characters or spend money on in-game currency to purchase loot boxes which give players the CHANCE to win playable characters. If the player does not ‘win’ the character he/she wants in these loot boxes then they can try again by paying some more money. Players may develop into an addiction. If you want to read more about the Star Wars Battlefront controversy click here
So please brothers and sisters, do not be deceived by these tricks. Parents do not facilitate Gambling in video games for your children.
Beck, K. (2017). ESRB says video game loot boxes don’t qualify as ‘gambling,’ despite similarities. [online] Mashable. Available at: http://mashable.com/2017/10/12/esrb-loot-boxes-gambling/#8K9W5ux2Kkqy [Accessed 3 Nov. 2017].
Runnemark, E., Hedman, J. and Xiao, X. (2015). Do consumers pay more using debit cards than cash?. Electronic Commerce Research and Applications, 14(5), pp.285-291.
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