Is Lootbox Unlocking
Loot boxes are virtual mystery boxes found in video games and social media games. Loot box unlocking is a chance-based activity in which users pay a fee to participate without knowing what they may find inside the box. The player can use their real money or virtual currency to unlock the box which will then reveal the items. Items in these boxes usually offer no real advantage to the player, but there are games in which the items in loot boxes can provide the player with a certain competitive advantage. The item inside the loot box may be of lesser, equal, or greater value than what the loot box was purchased for.
Skins, a term used to describe the decorative items usually found within loot boxes, can range in value based on how rare they are. Some skins are potentially worth more than what was spent unlocking the loot box and some are worthless. Whenever a player opens a loot box, there is a chance that they will receive a valuable skin. But the chances of winning a valuable skin are low and players often receive a skin of a lesser value.
Does Jumping Jamboree have Lootbox Unlocking?
Yes! Jumping Jamboree does include Lootbox Unlocking. In the Jumping Jamboree game, the player is required to pay 50 coins to open the loot box and the item they win is less than 50 coins in value. There is only one item that, if won, can help the player advance in the game. The other items are only cosmetic in nature and provide no real benefit to the player.
What are the risks of Lootbox Unlocking?
Structurally and psychologically, loot box unlocking included in popular games is very similar to gambling and youth are particularly vulnerable to the gambling mechanisms used in loot boxes. Earning loot boxes through gameplay can make the player play more often and for longer periods.
Similar to loot box unlocking, someone who plays a slot machine may keep playing until they finally win, even if the money they win may be less than what they spent. They can also be carried away and spend more money than originally intended playing the slot machine or, in this case, opening loot boxes.
Some of the risks of purchasing loot boxes include
Paying for an uncertain outcome: When you pay, you don’t know that you are paying for. You may get a rare skin, or you may get a skin you already have or a skin you do not want.
When there is an element of chance and the results are unknown, the players are motivated to continue to play for longer periods of time.
Sounds and Visuals
The visuals and sounds make it look like the player has almost won the higher value items, encouraging them to keep repeating the behaviour of loot box unlocking.
Exposing underage players to other gambling activities: Some games allow the player to use skins (items found in loot boxes) as wagers and items of value to bet with on gambling sites.
Virtual Currency Conversion
Some loot boxes can only be unlocked by using in-game currencies. In-game currencies can be misleading because often they do not equal the same amount in real currency (e.g Canadian money). For example $12 in-game currency may equal $1 Canadian and it can make it hard to keep track of how much real money has been spent.
Higher risks of problem gambling behaviour: There are websites that allow players to cash out loot box winnings. Players who are engaged in buying and selling loot boxes have significantly higher proportions of at-risk and problem gambling behaviour because the content of their loot box can have a real monetary value.
Harm-reduction strategies for loot box unlocking
Set Time and Money Limits
Set a time and money limit for games and remain firm with this limit.
Consider Random Outcomes
Developing a strategy to win or access items doesn’t work because loot box unlocking is chance-based.
Keep in mind that although video games can be skill-based, this DOES NOT include loot boxes.
Do Not Chase
Do not attempt to chase a specific item — this creates expectations when opening loot boxes, which can make it more difficult to stop.
Play for Fun
Video games that can only be won with the purchase of a loot box are not skill-based games, and so the likelihood of winning is low. Users should play for fun instead of the need to win.
Consider Games with Transparent Rewards
Playing games that have transparent loot boxes that allow you to see the contents of the box before purchase may reduce harm to the player.