Gambling, gaming, and loot boxes: converging irrational beliefs?
Master of Arts
DisciplinePsychology : Clinical
Internet gaming disorder
Loot boxes (gambling and gaming behaviours)
MetadataShow full item record
The current study examined whether engaging with loot boxes (i.e., in-game “boxes” that can be won within a game or purchased with in-game currency or real money, and which contain a random selection of prizes or objects) was associated with increased endorsement of gamblingrelated cognitions around luck and chance (i.e., controlling the outcome of a chance game) that have been observed in gamblers. Socializing was also proposed to act a mediator between irrational cognitions and loot box use. Further, self-generated motives to engage with or refrain from gambling, gaming, and loot box content were also examined. University students (n = 321) and community participants (n = 279) completed a battery of online questionnaires that included measures of problem gambling (i.e., Problem Gambling Severity Index), gambling-related cognitions (i.e., GamCog, Belief in Good Luck Scale), problem gaming (i.e., Internet Gaming Disorder Scale), and risky loot box engagement (i.e., Risky Loot Box Index). Quantitative analyses, including a one-way ANOVA on gambling-related cognitions (e.g., luck), indicated that gamblers had higher scores than loot box users on a measure of gambling-related cognitions, but that these results were likely statistically but not clinically significant. No evidence for socializing as a mediator was found. Qualitative content analysis identified several overlapping motives to engage or refrain from engaging with gambling, gaming, and loot box content. For example, the chance to win was identified as a motive to engage with both gambling and loot box content. Additional exploratory analyses revealed that loot box use is linked to problem gambling and gaming. Overall, these findings provide further context and insight into the burgeoning research on loot boxes, their relation to gambling and gaming behaviours in terms of gambling-related cognitions (e.g., luck) and problematic behaviour (e.g., problem gambling, problem gaming), as well as motives to engage with or refrain from such content.