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Article

“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

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Cyberpsychology Research Group, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing, MC323, University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton WV1 1LY, UK
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School of Psychology, Faculty of Health, University of Plymouth, Plymouth, Devon PL4 8AA, UK
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Sophro LTD-Gambling Research and Education, Newark Beacon Innovation Centre, Cafferata Way, Newark NG24 2TN, UK
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School of Law, Criminology and Government, Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business, 112, 19 Portland Villas, University of Plymouth, Plymouth Devon PL4 8AA, UK
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Department of Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Design and Social Sciences, 223 Lipman Building, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 8ST, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Stephanie Merkouris
J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10(10), 2103; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10102103
Received: 16 March 2021 / Revised: 7 May 2021 / Accepted: 11 May 2021 / Published: 13 May 2021
(This article belongs to the Collection Gambling, Gaming and Other Behavioural Addictions)
Excessive engagement with (increasingly prevalent) loot boxes within games has consistently 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 categorised reasons for buying into seven “themes”; opening experience; value of box contents; game-related elements; social influences; emotive/impulsive influences; fear of missing out; 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. View Full-Text
Keywords: loot boxes; video-gaming; motivations; motives; microtransactions; gambling; addiction; qualitative; monetisation loot boxes; video-gaming; motivations; motives; microtransactions; gambling; addiction; qualitative; monetisation
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MDPI and ACS Style

Nicklin, L.L.; Spicer, S.G.; Close, J.; Parke, J.; Smith, O.; Raymen, T.; Lloyd, H.; Lloyd, J. “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. J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10, 2103. https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10102103

AMA Style

Nicklin LL, Spicer SG, Close J, Parke J, Smith O, Raymen T, Lloyd H, Lloyd J. “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. 2021; 10(10):2103. https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10102103

Chicago/Turabian Style

Nicklin, Laura L., Stuart G. Spicer, James Close, Jonathan Parke, Oliver Smith, Thomas Raymen, Helen Lloyd, and Joanne Lloyd. 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, no. 10: 2103. https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10102103

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