Gambling in a game rated T for Teens

General Discussion
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Do folks at large consider collecting Baseball Cards to be an unacceptable form of gambling?
08/04/2016 04:09 PMPosted by TheHeck
The thing with magic is that since you can buy a specific card for a price determined by supply and demand it puts a limit to the amount you can gamble away.

What? No it doesn't.

08/04/2016 04:12 PMPosted by Xodin
Do folks at large consider collecting Baseball Cards to be an unacceptable form of gambling?

Apparently they do.
08/04/2016 04:09 PMPosted by TheHeck
In the case of the summer loot boxes the only way to get more chance to obtain a specific item is by buying more loot boxes and the duplicate system make it so that no matter how much money you pump in the system you are always as unlikely to get it.

No matter how much money you spend on lootboxes, you always get the same thing: nothing.

Got some !@#$ty spray that you'll never use? That's worth nothing. Zero monetary or intrinsic value.

Got some awesome legendary Tracer skin you've been hoping for? That's worth nothing. Zero monetary or intrinsic value.

You always get the same thing out of a loot box. Always. It's not gambling if the result is always the same.
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That's because these kind of digital practices in videogames are not regulated yet in a lot of countries, even if RNG boxes have been around for a long time already. So yes, legally it's not gambling, and so you're right about the $0 value of every box and all. But ethically... that's a whole different matter, right?

Anyway, in some countries stuff like this is illegal. See "kompu gacha" in Japan.
Snip

That's because these kind of digital practices in videogames are not regulated yet in a lot of countries, even if RNG boxes have been around for a long time already. So yes, legally it's not gambling, and so you're right about the $0 value of every box and all. But ethically... that's a whole different matter, right?

Anyway, in some countries stuff like this is illegal. See "kompu gacha" in Japan.

Ethics don't even enter into the question.

It's a non-essential luxury item. You are not forced to buy it. You are not deceived into buying it. You are not coerced into buying it. You don't need it. It won't improve your gameplay experience or your life in any way whatsoever.

Blizzard offered you a product. You choose to buy, or you choose not to buy. You have all the information to make whatever choice you want. There's nothing ethically wrong with that.
08/04/2016 04:24 PMPosted by emtwo
Ethics don't even enter into the question.

It's a non-essential luxury item. You are not forced to buy it. You are not deceived into buying it. You are not coerced into buying it. You don't need it. It won't improve your gameplay experience or your life in any way whatsoever.

Blizzard offered you a product. You choose to buy, or you choose not to buy. You have all the information to make whatever choice you want. There's nothing ethically wrong with that.

Most laws were and are created because of ethics. I gave you a clear example with the kompu gacha, which is quite close to our RNG boxes.
It's not gambling.

You are getting a reward. You are opening something you don't know whats in. Loot boxes already from the moment you get them- have thing set out. You may not know whats in them but its planned from the start.

And no matter what you get its a reward. If you don't get that Roadhog skin you wanted sorry bad luck. There is nothing wrong with this system and you guys are a bunch of crybabys.

No matter what the reward is it is a reward. Even if you only get dupes you can buy stuff. You are not blizzards money bags. What you are is a crybaby who whines if they don't get there way.

Guess what- I'm trying gain 30 levels in 3 days so I can prestige and get more boxes. Its rough huh? Stop being a child and grow up
08/04/2016 04:26 PMPosted by Vector
Most laws were and are created because of ethics. I gave you a clear example with the kompu gacha, which is quite close to our RNG boxes.

You should actually read up on what you're talking about.

'Kompu gacha' laws refer specifically to instances where completing a collection of the randomized product would result in an even rarer item. Loot Boxes are not like kompu gacha, they are more like 'gashapon' which is still very legal in Japan.

Besides which, that's Japan and not the US. The fact that Japan made a law against something does not mean it's unethical. Ethics are fluid and vary by region and culture.

Also, most laws are not created because of ethics. Most laws are created specifically for the financial gain of whomever is creating the law or paying for it to be created.
08/04/2016 04:28 PMPosted by feelsgood
It's not gambling.

You are getting a reward. You are opening something you don't know whats in. Loot boxes already from the moment you get them- have thing set out. You may not know whats in them but its planned from the start.


this is the truth. you people are overreacting so much.

this isn't any different from buying card packs for pokemon, yugioh, mtg, hearthstone, etc.. not everything that involves luck is gambling.
How on earth is this gambling. Man kids are some dumb nowadays.
This is a video game you guys.
08/04/2016 04:24 PMPosted by emtwo
...
That's because these kind of digital practices in videogames are not regulated yet in a lot of countries, even if RNG boxes have been around for a long time already. So yes, legally it's not gambling, and so you're right about the $0 value of every box and all. But ethically... that's a whole different matter, right?

Anyway, in some countries stuff like this is illegal. See "kompu gacha" in Japan.

Ethics don't even enter into the question.

It's a non-essential luxury item. You are not forced to buy it. You are not deceived into buying it. You are not coerced into buying it. You don't need it. It won't improve your gameplay experience or your life in any way whatsoever.

Blizzard offered you a product. You choose to buy, or you choose not to buy. You have all the information to make whatever choice you want. There's nothing ethically wrong with that.

You are right, for a normal person with no gambling addiction or for a person with some life experience(ie; not a teen) this is not an ethical problem. The ethical part of the problem come from its design. It is made in a way that tries to take advantage of people with and addiction to gambling. You get an initial free sample to tempt you into buying crate. No one is forcing you. The same way no one force you to drink compulsively or to gamble away your life. But some people have gambling addiction and everything from the free loot boxes, the complete randomness of the reward, the item rarity that gives a false sense of value to cosmetics and the possibility to get duplicate that have 0 value with respect to the summer items make it so that someone with an addiction to gambling or with a lack of life experience is more likely to spend huge amount of money. Since there is no regulation around this practice in the digital world. It is up to the consumer to state their concerns.

You have a right to disagree with me as do the devs. If they make a clear statement on their stance toward the ethical issue, I will gladly accept their stance and depending on it I will consider Blizzard as either a shady business or a business that made a mistake which we can get over.
It's only gambling if parents allow their kids to gamble. Sometimes my parents would let me pull the handle on the slot machines at casinos, for example. It's not legal, but it's ultimately up to the parents. If they buy their kids lootboxes, it's "similar" to gambling, but it's still very different, because it's hard to feel the true effects of gambling if it's someone else's money.

Just opening up lootboxes isn't even close to gambling tho. It's just like opening a present. You don't know what it is, but it didn't cost you anything, so what's the problem?
Someone better alert the presses that buying magic/Pokemon card booster packs are gambling and should require adult consent.

Edit: Oh no, even opening up kinder beuno surprise eggs are gambling.
Microtransactions for virtual currency is not legally considered gambling in the United States. If it was, then the entire mobile gaming market would be destroyed.
08/04/2016 04:26 PMPosted by Vector
Most laws were and are created because of ethics. I gave you a clear example with the kompu gacha, which is quite close to our RNG boxes.

You should actually read up on what you're talking about.

'Kompu gacha' was only banned specifically in instances where completing a collection of the randomized product would result in an even rarer item.

Besides which, that's Japan and not the US. The fact that Japan made a law against something does not mean it's unethical.

You just described what kompu gacha was. Yes, it was getting some random digital items to complete a set and get another rarer one (don't confuse it with regular gacha). RNG boxes at it's finest. Kompu gacha was completely banned, period, as I've even searched it (as this thing was from some years ago, so I could be wrong). The fact is that it was considered that it had the same effects on users than regular gambling has.

And even if that was in Japan (oh, and by the way, Overwatch is being sold outside of the US) it sets a precedent about something that many have been asking for years: a regulation over gambling with digital goods. Because the only reason why it isn't considered actual gambling is because the goods have no legal worth (nor you can take money out of the system).
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Ethics don't even enter into the question.

It's a non-essential luxury item. You are not forced to buy it. You are not deceived into buying it. You are not coerced into buying it. You don't need it. It won't improve your gameplay experience or your life in any way whatsoever.

Blizzard offered you a product. You choose to buy, or you choose not to buy. You have all the information to make whatever choice you want. There's nothing ethically wrong with that.

You are right, for a normal person with no gambling addiction or for a person with some life experience(ie; not a teen) this is not an ethical problem. The ethical part of the problem come from its design. It is made in a way that tries to take advantage of people with and addiction to gambling. You get an initial free sample to tempt you into buying crate. No one is forcing you. The same way no one force you to drink compulsively or to gamble away your life. But some people have gambling addiction and everything from the free loot boxes, the complete randomness of the reward, the item rarity that gives a false sense of value to cosmetics and the possibility to get duplicate that have 0 value with respect to the summer items make it so that someone with an addiction to gambling or with a lack of life experience is more likely to spend huge amount of money. Since there is no regulation around this practice in the digital world. It is up to the consumer to state their concerns.

You have a right to disagree with me as do the devs. If they make a clear statement on their stance toward the ethical issue, I will gladly accept their stance and depending on it I will consider Blizzard as either a shady business or a business that made a mistake which we can get over.

Well, welcome to the world my friend.

Have you ever seen an advertisement for any product ever? In magazines, on a billboard, on the radio or on TV?

100% of them are relying on compulsive behavior, addictive personality, or any number of other human idiosyncracies and irrational emotional needs to sell product.

You're blaming Blizzard for human nature.
...
You are right, for a normal person with no gambling addiction or for a person with some life experience(ie; not a teen) this is not an ethical problem. The ethical part of the problem come from its design. It is made in a way that tries to take advantage of people with and addiction to gambling. You get an initial free sample to tempt you into buying crate. No one is forcing you. The same way no one force you to drink compulsively or to gamble away your life. But some people have gambling addiction and everything from the free loot boxes, the complete randomness of the reward, the item rarity that gives a false sense of value to cosmetics and the possibility to get duplicate that have 0 value with respect to the summer items make it so that someone with an addiction to gambling or with a lack of life experience is more likely to spend huge amount of money. Since there is no regulation around this practice in the digital world. It is up to the consumer to state their concerns.

You have a right to disagree with me as do the devs. If they make a clear statement on their stance toward the ethical issue, I will gladly accept their stance and depending on it I will consider Blizzard as either a shady business or a business that made a mistake which we can get over.

Well, welcome to the world my friend.

Have you ever seen an advertisement for any product ever? In magazines, on a billboard, on the radio or on TV?

100% of them are relying on compulsive behavior, addictive personality, or any number of other human idiosyncracies and irrational emotional needs to sell product.

You're blaming Blizzard for human nature.


there are regulation regarding everything you stated. Some advertisement get banned because they are unethical. The digital world is still mainly new and unregulated. As consumers, we need to ask question when companies do unethical things. What is considered ethical can vary from person to person and like I said the devs can disagree with me. I will adapt my behavior has a consumer accordingly. For now I am still hoping on an official statement with their position toward the issues that were raised. The non-answer they gave earlier this week was simply no good enough.
This entire discussion has reached the point of self-parody.
I unfortunately don't have time to read all the responses here at the moment, so apologies I'm repeating someone.

The comparison to trading cards isn't entirely unfair. However, do you really think we'd have any problems here if we could purchase all skins individually, trade with other players, and sell things we don't want?

I would hate on magic cards just as much if random packs were the only way to obtain cards and trading was somehow forbidden. Those are core to the experience, and makes the comparison to the loot boxes fall apart a little.

We should model the loot boxes a bit more like trading cards!

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