Immersive and Addictive Technologies: In-game Spending, Loot Boxes and Gateways to Gambling

(University of Westminster – MA Multimedia Journalism submission 2019)

Radio 4 Series – Immersive and Addictive Technologies

Are Loot Boxes bad for gaming and bad for society, and what are the other impacts of the online and in-game economy.

Martin Steers continues his exploration of the issues being raised during the Department for Digital Media Culture and Sport (DCMS) inquiry into immersive and addictive technologies.

We hear about Henry a young gamer who racked up a debt on his father Ben’s credit card and the impact it’shad on them as a family.

We find out more about the loot box and the games industry with the help of gaming journalist Ryan Brown (Link: ), and explore further the impact and possible links to gambling with former gaming addict Cam Adair, who is the founder of the worlds largest peer support network

We discuss the current legislation in the UK, and how the issues have been dealt with by other countries with the thoughts of Labour MP for Cambridge Daniel Zeichner, who was one of the first MP’s to start talking about
the loot box in parliament.

You can find out more about the DCMS inquiry, read submitted evidence and watch back the committee hearings, including testimony from academics, the games industry and experts, like experienced gamers from Games Quitters here. (Link: )

If you or a someone you know has been impacted by gambling you can get support at

Further links:
BBC News – Loot boxes ‘link to problem gambling’
BBC News – ‘I spent £700 on loot boxes in a month’
BBC Radio 4 – Why loot crates are luring you in to spend your money

Martin Steers
Contributions from:
Cam Adair
Ryan Brown
Daniel Zeichner
Ben Hart
Henry Hart
With additional thanks to the Centre for Computer History (Link: )



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