Analyzing Random Reward Mechanics and Social Perception
In Proceedings of the 2019 International Conference of the Digital Games Research Association (DiGRA '19), DiGRA, Kyoto, Japan.
This paper presents an ongoing research project, aiming to contribute towards recent efforts to establish a taxonomy of random reward mechanisms in digital games as a basis for further debate. Random reward mechanisms are employed by game developers as a means of monetization and to retain players by introducing chance-based rewards. In the form of so called "loot boxes," they have become an object of public debate for their supposed structural likeness to gambling and proven highly controversial among players. Our goal is to establish an empirically grounded taxonomy of monetized random reward mechanisms, by comparing how they are implemented in different games on different platforms. In our analysis, we consider the often complex tension between favored design choices of game developers and player preferences.
URL: DiGRA 2019
Citation: .bib format