This post was sparked by watching a recent video by LegacyKillaHD. I am subscribed to him but most of the time I don’t agree with his opinions. However, he is a good source to find out about some of the less mainstream gaming news. This topic however has been a major discussion on his channel for well over a year now and that is Loot Boxes.
I understand how loot boxes can be explained as a type of gambling and how it can be addictive to certain personalities. I’ve had experiences with adults who were addicts of various kinds, heck, an uncle of mine used to be addicted to anything you can get hooked to… drugs, sex, gambling, drinking, smoking if you could get hooked he had done it. Being an addict can destroy your life, but , here is the thing and why I am writing this post. There is such a thing as a first step in an addicts path and personal responsibility is a real thing that needs to be addressed. The addict has to make the first choice to start on that path and continues to ignore their issues once they become addicted for whatever reason. Facing the hardships is part of personal responsibility and it does suck for them and everyone around them that has to re enforce that to them.
Now, I can hear a lot of you out there thinking What about the CHILDREN?! Well, it is the parents responsibility to not only monitor the spending of their kids, but, it is also their jobs to teach personal responsibility. Johnny or Susie spends money on a game that the parents don’t lock down the access for? Then it is on them because they didn’t lock it down properly so they have to take the hit financially. Then they need to turn around and find an appropriate punishment for the kids so that the mistake isn’t repeated even as adults themselves. I’ve seen plenty of stories over the years about kids spending hundreds and thousands of dollars on games using the parents credit cards, personal accounts on consoles/phones, etc. I’m sorry but it isn’t the game companies fault that it happened or the companies responsibility to pay that back.
Growing up my mother made sure that I learned that every action that I take can and will have consequences. She also made sure that I earned any money that I had access to for things I wanted. She taught me to spend responsibly and to plan ahead even when I was given money for birthdays and holidays. When she got into trouble with a credit card she taught me to bust ass to pay it off instead of filing for bankruptcy. After that she taught me to only get a credit line that I could pay off fairly easily. Basically she taught me to live within my means.
A lot of people aren’t taught these things anymore and would rather ban things, make laws of protection, and more instead of learning self control and personal responsibility. This issue is much greater than the video games industry but the industry is a great example of what is a huge failing in the majority of society right now.
I don’t want to get rid of loot boxes completely. Certain games they make sense to have them, but, I do agree on one thing that comes up in this debate. Video game companies are becoming too reliant on the income from them. They need to realize that the industry was grown and became as huge as it is because of good experiences, complete games, low glitches and bugs on release/launch, and the ability to stay true to the spirit of the franchises even if some of the stuff is updated. Players have multiple franchises that they play for a reason. There used to be staggered releases and such instead of the floods we get every year now. Some types of games shouldn’t be on quick turnarounds or yearly schedules.
I do understand the business side of things and the pressures that investors and stock markets can bring to the table. It’s up to the company though to bring understanding, knowledge, and proof that patience can bring higher long term rewards to those groups. There is proof in the history of the industry and the current scandals, horrible launches, and such to prove the point.
Again it all boils down to taking personal responsibility.