There are many things that gaming has been associated to over the years, both in a positive light and in a negative light, and in recent years in particular gaming has been picked up in a huge way by a much wider audience, and particularly for those who haven’t been all that interested in gaming before too. At the same time, there has been a shift in gaming during this same period of time, and it is a change that many have started to deem as a huge problem, and something that has been pushing for change for quite some time.
Perhaps the biggest factor here has been the introduction of microtransactions or more commonly referred to as MTX – often implemented in the likes of mobile games as a way to continue offering a game for free, and there have been plenty of stories out there where a youngster has been able to grab hold of a device and rack up huge spending amounts but has spread to older players too as young adults have become just at risk for the same reasons. There has also been a huge rise in online gaming services like online casinos like these targeted at these youth adult players and particularly over this past year numbers have only continued to increase, there have been many reports and links to this growth too suggesting that the problem is on speeding up and not slowing down.
(Image from polygon.com)
Some platforms have glorified this too, popular streaming platforms such as Twitch have had open policies regarding gambling and little to turn younger audiences away as things such as case openings and even actual gaming sites have been regular occurrences, it has brought spending to a whole new audience and figures suggest that spending on these games and MTX has only increased over the past few years as they become more readily available. It is certainly looking to be something that isn’t yet slowing, although there have been calls to have certain mechanics such as the loot boxes removed or at least restricted to make it more difficult for easy access or easy spending.
The question of whether or not gaming is hurting youth finance is a bit of a tricky one to answer – whilst the younger players are certainly the primary targets in gaming as a whole, if there is more encouragement to spend particularly on something deemed more mandatory for progressing or performance, but given spending amongst these players has become somewhat of a problem, it may certainly be something that needs exploration in the future to protect those most at risk.