Online video game currency - why we should be worried

As technology evolves, newer and more sophisticated video games are released every day.

With online capability, users can connect like never before and thus, trading of items and currency has formed its own market where users can navigate through a catalog of items sold by other players that are available for purchase.

Steam community market places where users can sell their items obtained in game. Above, Counter Strike Global Offensive items are for sale.

The items shown above are all exceedingly rare to obtain. Users must purchase crates and keys to open them. Then, if you're lucky, you have a chance to obtain a rare item. This chance is extremely low and if you want anything worthwhile, hundreds, if not thousands of crates must be unlocked.

This idea is bad enough. It encourages users to spend their money on this virtual plane for a small chance a jackpot.

Does this concept sound familiar to you?

Straight up gambling. Did I mention that the majority of players are teenagers or children that are below the required gambling age.

This method of obtaining in-game loot is now used on nearly every new popular game. League of Legends, Counter Strike, Overwatch, and PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds to list a few.

While the money is obviously spent at the own users discretion, you must realize that when the majority of your user base are children, then this type of manipulation is bad news.

Above, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds crates available for purchase. Note the staggering number of crates traded just within the last 24-hours.

As if this type of trading wasn't bad enough.

Several player made gambling website have been created that exacerbate the gambling loophole that these games provide and these people behind the operation have heaped heavy rewards.

These websites allowed users to contest with one another and literally role a die that would determine whether they won against their opponent. Once again the reward could be enormous. Simply bet enough credits and potentially win double or triple your initial deposit. The winnings could then be used on items or sold for real life money.

A huge controversy occurred last year where it was found that many of the people behind the creation of these player made websites were betting on their own site and through a fixed system, winning on command or at a much higher rate.

As they were betting against other people, they were basically scamming their own user base out of money.

Huge names in the gaming industry like TmarTn, Syndicate and PhatonL0rd all came under fire for their alleged operation of these websites.

Thankfully, many of these websites have been shut down after they were sued for the gambling operation that was happening.

The problem will continue to exist however, as long as this randomized method of obtaining things continues, this gambling epidemic will continue to spread to children and teenagers across the world.


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