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Video Game Loot Syndrome

Here’s a video game addiction discussion with a loot boxer perspective. I’m making this connection because there’s a couple viewpoints I want to tackle this topic with and provide a comparison. I’d like to give this comparison so you, dear gamer, might be able to take a step back and see which might apply to you. I do believe one might be more dangerous than the other, but it’s like eating a couple things not good for you, in moderation, one is slightly more ok than the other.

The addiction I’d like to discuss isn’t the addiction to actually playing video games like you may have expected. I wanted to throw some ideas out there about “why” and the motivation of playing video games. Stay with me for just a minute.

We have two gamers before us and we’ll refer to them as “Gamer A” and “Gamer B”. Gamer A plays a video game because it’s fun and she is wanting to relax and get another level higher. Gamer B plays a game because there is something for him to “acquire”. Some exclusive item that will “drop” from an especially difficult end boss, especially if it’s in a harder difficulty level than default or normal.

Setting to the side that terms “casual” or “hardcore” to describe either gamer, I’d like to just share some thoughts on the dangers of what can happen to Gamer B that I think doesn’t necessarily exist for Gamer A.

Gamer B may tend to put in time toward a game that may feel like a “job”. Achieving some reward can take away from the relaxation and joy in playing the game. Gamer B may also be willing to restart a saved game multiple times if there is a chance for something better to be rewarded each time the difficult end boss is beat. They are willing to lose the reward they just received to roll-back a previous save to do it over again. So much so that hours may go by doing the same things multiple times hoping the the RNG (Random Number Generator) will grant them something they “want” and not another of some lesser valued reward.

I would be Gamer A in the situation. I have no idea what it’s like to be a Gamer B type. I like getting the cool loot in games that reward loot for doing a difficult task. But I stop at whatever it is that is the reward. I’m slow to find all of the things to do in a given game. I don’t know I ever felt like I have nothing to do in a game, like as in Bungie’s Destiny, because I’ve grinded through every task to get the best item as a reward and have nothing else to get rewarded with. Doing the opposite as that feels very focus on an end goal and I feel like I’m missing out on the joy of just “playing” the game.

Maybe I’ll go as far as to say Gamer A is “playing” the game and Gamer B is “working” the game. I’m imagining that Gamer B gets a thrill from telling someone they have all of the rewards possible in the game when Gamer A doesn’t really know what’s been rewarded or what else is available.

A final thought is I’d be really concerned about Gamer B’s health. Not only from a hygiene health point-of-view, but more about anger-management and high blood pressure.

All gamers need to be aware of their surroundings. But geez Gamer B… take it easy!

Thanks for reading!

by Tom, The Loot Box Podcast
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