“It’s the attraction of winning that draws you in” – A qualitative investigation of reasons and facilitators for videogame loot box engagement in UK gamers
Spicer, Stuart Gordon
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AbstractExcessive engagement with (increasingly prevalent) loot boxes within games has consist ently been linked with disordered gambling and/or gaming. The importance of recognising and managing potential risks associated with loot box involvement means understanding contributing factors is a pressing research priority. Given that motivations for gaming and gambling have been informative in understanding risky engagement with those behaviours, this qualitative study investigated motivations for buying loot boxes, through in-depth interviews with 28 gamers from across the UK. A reflexive thematic analysis categorized reasons for buying into seven ‘themes’; opening experience; value of box contents; game-related elements; social influences; emotive/impulsive influences; fear of missing out; and triggers/facilitators. These themes are described in detail and discussed in relation to the existing literature and motivation theories. This study contributes to understanding ways in which digital items within loot boxes can be highly valued by purchasers, informing the debate around parallels with gambling. Findings that certain motivations were disproportionately endorsed by participants with symptoms of problematic gambling has potential implications for policy and warrants further study.
CitationNicklin, L. L., Spicer, S. G., Close, J., Parke, J., Smith, O., Raymen, T., Lloyd, H., & Lloyd, J. (2021) “It’s the attraction of winning that draws you in” – A qualitative investigation of reasons and facilitators for videogame loot box engagement in UK gamers. Journal of Clinical Medicine, 10(10), 2103; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10102103
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Description© 2021 The Authors. Published by MDPI. This is an open access article available under a Creative Commons licence. The published version can be accessed at the following link on the publisher’s website: https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10102103
SponsorsThis research was funded by a research grant from GambleAware, with JC being further supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) South West Peninsula.
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/