YouTube Video: Internet Gaming Disorder and The Psychology of Loot Boxes

I do occasionally play computer games, but not very often so I do not consider myself to be a gamer. I also only very, very, very rarely play shooters of any kind and never any online games. So I let someone who apparently has more knowledge and experience to state an opinion


  1. says

    I don’t like loot boxes because they tend to artificially distort gameplay. The game becomes about extracting money from the player. I’d rather pay up front for a set time of play, like one does with an old school game (pay for it, and you get infinite play) or a subscription like World of Warcraft.

    Epic NPC Man pokes a lot of fun at the intersection between realism and games. In this case, loot boxes and microtransactions.. I’ve played (briefly) microtransaction games and they have this feeling:

  2. Bruce says

    I think people need to study scribes and monks to see if the DSM should list them at risk for addiction to books or scrolls.

  3. Gelaos says

    I played a lot of games (never online) during my teen years but I gradually lost interest and nowadays I play rarely. The only “online” gaming I’ve ever done was Counter Strike with friends during IT classes at our primary school. That was fun because I knew all other players in person and we could see and talk to each other during gameplay. The idea of playing online with some random person from God-knows-where whom I can’t see and don’t know anything about him/her has never attracted me.
    I think that (internet) gaming disorder is definitely a thing and needs to be dealt with. Overall I’m pretty conservative about videogames. I’m against gaming being called “hobby”, I strongly dislike Let’sPlays and esports, and playing videogames for a living seems bizarre to me.

  4. says

    I love playing games on my mobile and I probably play more than I should and yes, some of them are really criminally predatory. There’s one that I play that’s plain old pay to win (with lootboxes thrown in for good measure). To me the appeal is that you can play it while having a toilet break, so they’re not making much money on me, but the top players must have invested enough money to buy a small car and I’m not joking, they probably didn’t notice doing it a 10er at a time over a few years.
    I’m not above throwing a little money at a game once in a while, but we’re talking about less than a Starbucks Coffee a month, so I think I’m fine.

    As an aside, I wished that folks like Rebecca were a bit less flippant about the whole thing, as well as about criticism of violence in video games. It’s puzzling to me how we can have detailed and nuanced criticism of misogyny in video games and how it affects women in real life, but talk about violence in video games and suddenly you’re the bastard child of Trump and Pence.

  5. says

    @Gelaos, I like one lets player. He plays the games in a fun, story-oriented way, de-facto making the game into a movie. I have started to watch his videos about three years ago when I was so sick that I could not do anything else. And it stayed with me, I like to watch his videos still in the evening instead of TV. But I did not even try and watch others.
    So all in all, I do not think that playing videogames for a living is any more bizarre than to play chess or tennis for a living.

    I knew a guy in university twenty years ago who fell down the rabbit hole of obsessive gaming to the point that he did not eat properly and started to fail the studies.

    I not only think that internet gaming disorder is a thing, but I also think that TV watching disorder is a thing. Perhaps they both fall under the same umbrella.

    @Giliell, when I watched the video by Rebecca, I too thought that she is a bit too flippant, almost to the point of trivializing. I think that the gaming industry has reached a point when regulations have become a necessity, like in any large-scale industry, especially now that they introduced de-facto gambling mechanics and predatory business practices.

    I am not convinced that violence in video games is a problem in and of itself, but how it is contextualized and portrayed might be. I have not seen enough evidence to be really concerned about it and definitively make up my mind, but it must have some effect on human brains since everything has. But what effect exactly something has is fairly difficult to ascertain.

  6. says

    Hey, I’m not saying “let’s ban violence!”, I’m saying: let’s have a nuanced discussion. Like what are the game mechanisms? Are there other solutions available? Can players be kind? How realistic is the violence? Are you supposed to revel in it, maybe get rewards for being especially brutal?
    Culture, especially media and its effect are rarely directly measurable and its effects vary from person to person, but we need to discuss those things openly.

  7. avalus says

    Jim Sterling is critizising addictive money making models in games for years. It’s even worse when it is in games you allready paid full for.

Leave a Reply