A new class action lawsuit against Take Two Interactive, the publisher of NBA2k, alleges that the game’s loot boxes are unfair, deceptive, and serve as illegal gambling. But in this time of upheaval, of emotional uncertainty, who are we to deny children the simple joys of unrepentant gambling?

Between mask mandates, remote learning, and the generalized fear that infiltrates most waking moments these days, our children are in a fragile state. Unfortunately, those children are denied access to most places and businesses designed to quiet and dampen the screaming voices inside you, like bars, spin classes, and casinos. A child, after a hard week learning the ins and outs of isosceles triangles via zoom, can’t take the Greyhound bus to Atlantic City, and put their whole month’s allowance on black. Not without the help of stilts, spirit gum, and a voice changer. Video game publishers have recognized this injustice. 

A row of slot machines

Pixabay

These are basically video games already!

And so, they developed features in their game that regulate the distribution of debatably essential and required items and resources through a method that can emulate the dead-eyed calm that only comes with dumping money into a CSI themed slot machine for 4 hours straight. Our children deserve access to the same emotional numbing agents we do as adults. What other option do children whose parents don’t believe in therapy have?

Do these videogames gate access to high-level gear in order to create an environment where loot boxes seem like the easiest and quickest way to get ahead? Yes. Do lootboxes, when opened, explode in a corona of sight and sound designed to activate every reward center in the brain? Yes. Do they utilize a conversion between real money and false, proprietary currency to muddy the connection between real money and what’s being put at risk, much like the chip system at any casino? Yes. Yes, they do.

But to say that these games’ profits are specifically calculated around sustaining a continuous input of credit card payments from players who cannot own credit cards, until a new version is released, which notably carries over none of their items, is overlooking one IMPORTANT detail: it’s not required! Players have tons of options other than purchasing lootboxes, like, uh, losing.

A child playing video games

Pixabay

A child experiencing neither the thrill of gambling or winning at videogames.

I’ll take it a step further: not only should we allow lootboxes to continue to exist, kids should be allowed to gamble at casinos. At least the big fun slot machines and the craps table that pops up big fake dice. No blackjack, none of the hard stuff. That way, at least once in a while a kid will hit it big in a way that doesn’t involve explaining to their mom why a diamond shoe Kevin Durant is actually worth 200 dollars.

Top Image: Pixabay

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