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The ESRB Doesn’t think Loot Boxes are Gambling

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The randomized element of the Loot Box system has been heavily criticized by many. Some concerned and angry parties even took to the ESRB to see their opinion on the matter. The Entertainment Software Rating Board, however doesn’t think this meets that qualification.

According to a recent post by Kotaku, the ESRB doesn’t think that Loot Boxes fit the role of a Gambling method. And the very reason why the organism holds this belief is rather baffling in and of itself.

“While there’s an element of chance in these mechanics, the player is always guaranteed to receive in-game content (even if the player unfortunately receives something they don’t want).” Said a ESRB Spokesperson.  “We think of it as a similar principle to collectible card games: Sometimes you’ll open a pack and get a brand new holographic card you’ve had your eye on for a while. But other times you’ll end up with a pack of cards you already have.”

You’ve read this correctly, the ESRB wants us to downright lose things in order to classify this as gambling. Because why have the attempted murder when you can bring the weapon once it’s been stabbed into your body?

Alright, let’s look at this from an objective standpoint. The argument does make sense because while a lot of players feel like they leave empty-handed, it’s entirely subjective. Players who put money into the microtransactions receive various objects and maybe the thing they wanted.

However, even while the name of the game isn’t gambling, we can’t deny that this doesn’t have gambling elements. I talked about the reasons for the success of Loot Boxes and other aspects before. One of the points I made with the article is that the Loot Boxes use a “Want it/Need it” aspect.

Not only that, but Loot Boxes are playing on the same exact psychological appeals that gambling does. I get it, you don’t exactly “Lose” your money, but does it mean this system doesn’t exploit whales? I mean, it obviously preys on them the same way real gambling does.

Now, before someone completely misunderstands my point in regards to microtransactions and such. I never believed that these can’t co-exist with the games we play, however, they must be regulated more. But even then that requires actual government input, and the ESRB isn’t a government entity. The most they can do is classify the games as “AO+” or Adults Only.

I always wanted to be a journalist who listens. The Voice of the Unspoken and someone heavily involved in the gaming community. From playing as a leader of a competitive multi-branch team to organizing tournaments for the competitive scene to being involved in a lot of gaming communities. I want to keep moving forward as a journalist.

Gaming

As Disney Speedstorm Ends, Arendelle Hits PS5, PS4

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Disney Speedstorm, Gameloft’s free-to-play kart racer, will enter its latest season with a wintery backdrop of Arendelle. Let It Go will add Anna, Elsa, Olaf, Kristoff, and Hans as racers. As always, they’ll have unique moves and abilities.

Oaken and other musical movie crew members will be unlocked, along with a new Golden Pass. After fan feedback, the developer is rebalancing this aspect of the release so you can progress faster and unlock more rewards.

The developer also announced on Twitter that it’s lowering in-game shop prices starting today, and if you’ve paid for microtransactions, you’ll get a big payout. The French studio appears to be betting on this season’s success.

Adding non-Frozen characters Oswald, Ortensia, and WALL-E could also help. A comprehensive game update should bring back lapsed players and attract new ones. Will you challenge the kart racer?

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New Destiny 2 Microtransaction Is Bad Bungie Removed It from PS5, PS4

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Bungie has pulled a contentious $15 starter pack from Season of the Wish, which launched yesterday. The pack had a poor selection and was marketed to new players, which the community strongly opposed.

The starter pack proudly stated that players could “experience the power of build-defining Exotic weapons by instantly unlocking three of Destiny 2’s finest: Traveler’s Chosen, Ruinous Effigy, and Sleeper Simulant.” An exotic ship, a sparrow, a ghost shell, 125,000 glimmer, 50 enhancement cores, five enhancement prisms, and one ascendant shard are also included.

This offering may seem harmless to a new player, but Forbes’ Paul Tassi says, “You sort of have to be a Destiny 2 player to understand what an outrageously bad deal this is.” The Forsaken Pack, another Bungie release, includes two dozen Exotics, a dungeon, and a raid. It cost $20 and is now $5. It looks bad, from what we can tell.

Guardians retaliated with negative Steam reviews. They orchestrated the DLC page to include “Capitalism,” “Crime,” and “Psychological Horror” user tags, which is funny.

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After Bungie pulled the pack, Redditor Grizz3d summarized the community response: “I don’t get how that starter pack was approved. What part of stealing from new players wasn’t going to result in community outrage? Bungie’s disconnect with players is shocking. I’m glad you got rid of the pack, but it’s disappointing that Bungie thought it was a good idea.”

This follows the Witcher 3 crossover armour sets, which look great but are expensive. Sony’s independent live service outpost is in danger due to a delayed expansion and studio layoffs.

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PlayStation planted over 500,000 trees last year

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Sony announced last year that it would plant trees for Horizon Forbidden West PlayStation fans who unlocked a simple trophy in the open-world game. This, in partnership with several charities, sought to protect the global environment and biodiversity.

Over a year later, it released a trailer showing its progress. The company has planted 600,000 trees worldwide, restoring 1,800 acres. More importantly, the gaming industry has planted 2.5 million trees worldwide.

Gaming is fun, but we must protect our world. Sony has taken steps to be more environmentally friendly, such as adding energy-saving features to the PS5 and shipping all its products in fully recyclable packaging.

 

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