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Personality constructs affiliated with loot box engagement

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thesis
posted on 2023-05-27, 23:51 authored by Waugh, CG
The growth of the gaming industry has seen an increase of predatory monetisation techniques, like loot boxes: a digital container that generates random rewards of subjective value. Loot boxes have been described as a converging point between problematic gambling and excessive gaming, as it shares structural and psychological similarities with conventional forms of gambling and exists mostly unregulated in online gaming. Understanding who engages with these mechanics may help in regulation and prevention for vulnerable groups. We looked at personality research in problem gambling and excessive gaming to formulate an idea of what we might see in loot box engagement. We firstly hypothesised high neuroticism and low conscientiousness would positively correlate with loot box engagement, and then hypothesised if loot box engagement was more like problem gambling, we would see lower agreeableness, or if it was more like excessive gaming, we would observe lower extraversion and openness. 153 participants were recruited to one of three conditions in our custom version of Candy Crush. We measured engagement with in-game purchases, personality and levels of gambling and gaming. We found no evidence to support our hypotheses but did find moderate evidence to support a relationship between loot box engagement and excessive gaming.

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