Welcome to GYGO! I’m Kael, your local holiday gnome, and I’m here to make you seem like the most well-informed gamer at your family gatherings this season. I know I have plenty to attend, with at least three separate holiday dinners at which I’ll have to explain why my job doesn’t entail playing games all day.
Loot Boxes Officially Linked to Gambling, Surprising No One
"Video game loot boxes are linked to problem gambling" was published in @plosone today!https://t.co/yfTouUimDb
This study was used in testimony to @AuSenate. It shows a potentially harmful link between loot boxes and problem gambling.
I break down the results below… pic.twitter.com/PVbX5pgYBc
— David Zendle (@davidzendle) November 22, 2018
Loot boxes have been linked to problem gambling. A large-scale survey conducted from a sample of 7,422 gamers on Reddit, the scope of which can be found here, looked into the amount of money participants spent on gambling and loot boxes. The survey found a correlation between loot box spending and problem gambling. According to David Zendle on Twitter, the connection is similar to the relationship between alcohol use, drug use, depression, and gambling.
Zendle offers two interpretations. The first possibility is that frequent loot box purchasing acts as a gateway to gambling addiction, insinuating causation. The second is that people with preexisting predilections towards gambling are more likely to purchase loot boxes, allowing games publishers to exploit those with an un-managed addiction.
Regardless of the interpretation, David Zendle followed up on Twitter with a call for regulation. He suggests that people should bring this correlation to the attention of their legislators.
New Games Greenlit in China Following Nine-Month Ban
The Chinese ban on new game licenses has finally lifted, as the State Administration for Press & Publication begins overseeing new approvals. Domestic games are the top priority while the backlog of titles is sorted through. The party is reportedly filtering out games that contain pornography, gambling, violence, and historical misrepresentations—which seems to me a very subjective metric. China is the largest games market in the world, accounting for $37.9 Billion in 2018 alone, so you can bet the industry is keeping a close eye on its censors and policies.
More Information About UK’s First Ever Games Union!
GAME WORKERS UNITE UK IS NOW A LEGAL TRADE UNION
We are proud to announce that we have become a branch of @IWGBunion – a small, dynamic and effective trade union.
Are you a worker and are worried you will be exploited by the games industry✊🏻✊🏿✊🎮
JOIN: https://t.co/ENyNOreC4F pic.twitter.com/1e00eSmxrZ
— IWGB Game Workers (@IWGB_GW) December 14, 2018
Game Workers Unite UK announced that they would be the UK’s first ever games union last week. Now it’s known that they’re joining up with the Independent Worker’s Union of Great Britain, a union dedicated to protecting workers in various precarious industries. This includes outsourced workers, foster care providers, and those within the gig economy.
This is truly an amazing step for the industry, and I could not be more supported of GWU UK’s efforts. For those looking to put their collective clout to good use, you can lend your support here, or through Game Workers Unite UK’s website.
In Other News…
- Halo developer 343 Industries and non-profit Limbitless Solutions have teamed up to make a Halo themed prosthesis for children.
- Media Molecule’s Dreams hit beta for newsletter subscribers this week, other testers join in January 8th.
- Ashley Oh’s beautiful write up of Florence made me want to play the game for the first time.
- Paizo’s Starfinder is officially supported by Roll20, and has a rad character sheet to match.
- Life is Strange 2 Episode 2 will be released 24th of January.
- Raimi fans enjoy a nostalgic costume in Spider-Man PS4.
First some deals for those belated holiday shoppers!
- Night in the Woods $11.99
- Paratopic $3.84
- A Mortician’s Tale $6.74
- Zones $2.25
- Tacoma $4.99
- Kentucky Route Zero $12.50
- Subserial Network $6.69
- SUPERHOT $14.99
- Long Live The Queen $4.00
Now the games!
First is Lucah: Born of a Dream, an action-adventure game with just a touch of survival horror tossed in. You dive into the dreams of a young boy whose inner demons have a pesky way of becoming real. Battle his traumas and set him free from his curse. The unique art style really sets Lucah apart from any other game, and the combat system promises to be both rich and fulfilling.
Next is Grown in the Garden, a two-player game about two moles competing to make the most beautiful garden. It mixes real-time strategy with sidescrolling platformers. It also looks super cute, and the plants I’ve seen are gorgeous. If nothing else it seems like a fun way to spend some time with a friend.
Finally, there’s Library, a cute experience about running around a library throwing books at people. There may not be a lot of mechanical meat behind it, but it still looks super fun. I don’t know about y’all, but some of the best games I’ve ever played have had me just exploring an environment to some good music.
And that’s it for this week’s GYGO! I have to go prepare for the holiday gauntlet, but I’ll catch you next time for more games, news, and deals!
A genderless eldritch beast bound to mortal flesh. Interests include games, gardening, magical realism, and the complete restructuring of America’s political and economic systems. Frequently orders too much food at restaurants. Tweets @unnnez.