informa
/

UK's top mental health nurse wants crack down on loot boxes

NHS mental health director Claire Murdoch claims the controversial monetisation method "sets kids up for addition" by effectively teaching them to gamble at a young age.

The UK’s top mental health nurse has called for a crack down on loot boxes in video games. NHS mental health director Claire Murdoch claims the controversial monetisation method "sets kids up for addition" by effectively teaching them to gamble at a young age. 

Loot boxes, which dish out randomised rewards to players and can sometimes be purchased using real-world currency, have been heavily scrutinised in recent years, with various governing bodies around the world seeking to regulate, or in some cases outright ban, the practice.

Although some games companies have refuted the notion that look boxes constitute gambling, with EA last year suggesting the system is better described as a "surprise mechanic," Murdoch isn't convinced. 

"Frankly no company should be setting kids up for addiction by teaching them to gamble on the content of these loot boxes. No firm should sell to children loot box games with this element of chance, so yes those sales should end," she commented. 

"Young people’s health is at stake, and although the NHS is stepping up with these new, innovative services available to families through our Long Term Plan, we cannot do this alone, so other parts of society must do what they can to limit risks and safeguard children’s wellbeing."

To address the issue, Murdoch believes loot boxes should either be banned outright, or moderating via the implementation of "far and realistic" spending limits that prevent people from dropping huge amounts of cash. 

She also claims loot boxes should disclose the  percentage chance of items dropping, and that game companies should support parents by helping to educate them on the risks of in-game spending. 

You can hear more from Murdoch by visiting the NHS England website.

Latest Jobs

Sucker Punch Productions

Bellevue, Washington
08.27.21
Combat Designer

Xbox Graphics

Redmond, Washington
08.27.21
Senior Software Engineer: GPU Compilers

Insomniac Games

Burbank, California
08.27.21
Systems Designer

Deep Silver Volition

Champaign, Illinois
08.27.21
Senior Environment Artist
More Jobs   

CONNECT WITH US

Register for a
Subscribe to
Follow us

Game Developer Account

Game Developer Newsletter

@gamedevdotcom

Register for a

Game Developer Account

Gain full access to resources (events, white paper, webinars, reports, etc)
Single sign-on to all Informa products

Register
Subscribe to

Game Developer Newsletter

Get daily Game Developer top stories every morning straight into your inbox

Subscribe
Follow us

@gamedevdotcom

Follow us @gamedevdotcom to stay up-to-date with the latest news & insider information about events & more