Loot boxes, problem gambling and problem video gaming: A systematic review and meta-synthesis

Spicer, Stuart Gordon and Nicklin, Laura Louise and Uther, Maria and Lloyd, Joanne and Lloyd, Helen and Close, James (2021) Loot boxes, problem gambling and problem video gaming: A systematic review and meta-synthesis. New Media & Society, 24 (4). pp. 1001-1022. ISSN 1461-4448

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Loot boxes (LBs) are video game-related purchases with a chance-based outcome. Due to similarities with gambling, they have come under increasing scrutiny from media, academics and policymakers alike. Initial evidence suggested that LB engagement might be associated with both problem gambling (PG) and problem video gaming (PVG). We therefore conducted a systematic review of the evidence for associations between LB purchasing, PG and PVG. For LB/PG, 12 of 13 publications reported a positive relationship, with a moderately sized mean effect of r = .27. For LB/PVG, the mean effect was r = .40, although this finding was drawn from only six surveys in total. For PG/PVG, the mean effect was r = .21, with only 11 of 20 studies reporting significant effects. While further evidence is required to determine the direction of causality, the strength of relationships suggests that policy action on LBs may have benefits for harm minimisation.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1177/14614448211027175
1 July 2021Accepted
17 July 2021Published Online
Uncontrolled Keywords: Addiction, impulsivity, loot boxes, mental health, microtransactions, nudges, problem gambling, problem video gaming, systematic review, wellbeing
Subjects: CAH15 - social sciences > CAH15-01 - sociology, social policy and anthropology > CAH15-01-02 - sociology
Divisions: Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences > School of Health Sciences
Depositing User: Gemma Tonks
Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2023 13:32
Last Modified: 14 Jun 2023 13:32
URI: https://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/14466

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