Microtransaction spending and problematic gambling of UK university Call of Duty gamers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Increased implementation of loot boxes within computer games has received widespread concern for the wellbeing of gamers, especially given the increased engagement during COVID-19 restrictions. Loot boxes share similarities with traditional gambling mechanisms that influence addiction-like behaviors and the amount of money spent on in-game items. The present study investigated loot box expenditure alongside peer engagement, perceptions of gaming value, self-worth, and problematic gambling of 130 Call of Duty players. Results identified significantly higher Risky Loot Box Index and visual authority scores for high-risk and medium-risk problem gamblers than non-problem gamblers. High-risk problem gamblers were also found to have higher purchase intention and validation seeking scores than non-problem gamblers. Problem gambling risk and all but three self-worth and perceived value subscale behaviors were not associated with loot box expenditure, contrasting previous findings. Concerning peer influence, non-problem gamblers were significantly less likely to play any Call of Duty game with friends whilst having all or most friends purchase loot boxes were also found to be associated with higher RLBI scores. The findings continue to support the associations between loot box engagement and problematic gambling and suggests the need to continue to explore individual in-game motivations for engaging with microtransactions.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Gambling Studies
Early online date3 Mar 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 Mar 2022

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