Avoid video games that use extrinsic motivation. A video game should at least mostly rely on intrinsic motivation, meaning that the playing of the game itself is the fun part, not the reward you get for playing the game. If you don’t enjoy the gameplay, but you want to earn lootboxes, you’ve fallen into the intentionally exploitative system operating within so many games nowadays, and you need to find another game, because you’re not having fun.
It doesn’t sound serious, but this kind of thing can make depression way worse if you’ve already got depression.
This post got me to stop playing Overwatch and I’m eternally grateful.
That’s also a core difference between a game trying to exploit the human brain’s tendency toward gambling addiction and a game that exists to entertain.
Like, it may sound like I’m reaching, but op described (pretty closely) the operation of gambling addictions. It’s also why the depression aspect is so real. You’re feeling a withdrawal, of a sort, when you can’t play the game.
Seriously, keep an eye out for this stuff!
And this is also why micro transactions are evil, as well. They compound and exploit any
unexplored issue a gamer might have with gambling or otherwise uncontrolled spending.
And those micro transactions are little “yeses” that add up SO quickly and, in the end, cause real-life monetary losses for the player.
As someone who’s prone to impulsive spending during a manic episode (which I DON’T do under normal circumstances), that’s dangerous for me, because I’m like the mouse hitting the “pleasure” button instead of the food button over and over.
Avoid games involving either lootboxes or micro transactions for the sake of your own sanity. They’re not truly fun or enriching games if they do that.