Loot Boxes: Great for Gamers?

By Zeno Zacks

Gamers are saying game developers are manipulating gamers, and they might be manipulating you. Gamers are saying this because of the increasing number of games containing a system called loot boxes.

Loot boxes require a gamer to spend real money to get a box that contains in-game items, which you may be able to sell for more than the price of the box. For example, in the new game “Star Wars Battlefront 2,” you can get different heroes from loot boxes that could be better than the standard heroes available. Loot boxes are a relatively new thing, having originated in 2006 in a Chinese game called “ZT Online.”

Bay Farm 8th grade student Alex Ward said, “It’s quite a gamble. If you take loot boxes out, the companies would not survive.”

David Ho, another 8th grader, said, “It’s starting an addiction. Adults are tricking kids into giving them money.”

There are two camps in the gaming world: one that believes loot boxes are a form of gambling, and another that says it actually enhances the gaming experience. Loot box enthusiasts say that it is different from regular gambling, because in regular gambling if you lose you get nothing, but with loot boxes, you always get an item.

Anti-loot box gamers liken the system to gambling games in which you get points for each time you gamble, and you can spend the points on prizes. But that would also mean that Chuck E. Cheese is actually a casino where you buy coins to get things worth a higher value if you’re lucky.

Loot boxes in video games might be new, but the idea is not. It actually started with baseball cards. In baseball cards, you can get golden cards, which can be worth more than the pack. It’s the same with Pokemon cards.

Loot boxes have proven to be a complex dilemma in the gaming world and could either expand or hamper the future of gaming.

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