Editorials

Real Life Loot Boxes, Gambling, Addiction and Innocence

We need compassion but stalwartness against virtual and real loot boxes.
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You may have heard, a trend rushing through YouTube is various influencers are pitching a site where you open real life loot boxes to receive items. When you open one of those boxes, you will receive a physical item. You can sell the item back for cash or have the item shipped to you. Things range from exotic sports cars to some random tat off of Amazon, with all reports showing the weight distribution is “no exotic sport cars” and “tons of random tat.”

There is a lot to unpack with this. You have a ner’do’well company that’s exploiting addiction and gambling. You have YouTubers ranging from innocent youths to just people trying to make a hustle. You have the games media sounding off every siren in the world because loot boxes are abysmal as is in the virtual world, importing them into the real world doesn’t help.

The Company

It’s as simple as saying shame on you, shame. Exploiting addiction and targeting the youth of this nation with things that are hyper relevant to them: Supreme, Yeezys and other designer high-end items popular right now. Just look at this quote that pops up if you don’t buy a box fast enough:

Buddy! Maybe you missed something? I think you missed your chance to get your first Supreme x LV Hoodie and Rolex 🙁 Nevertheless I will help you to get something 🙂 Just scroll this page up and I will make this happened !:D

MysteryBrand’s Website

Man, I missed my chance to get that Hoodie and Rolex combo. Better follow his instructions.

Regardless, the company has made some kick back that they are legit and do send items to people and are open about odds. However, PewDiePie did some math in his video and proposes that their odds can’t be correct.

It gets super messy from here. The Verge reports that they’ve likely lied about their relationship with StockX which claims they have no relationship with MysteryBrand. PCGamer though has this advice for anyone scammed by the site:

By the way, if any panicked parents who just looked at their credit card statements are reading this, please note that MysteryBrand’s poorly-written TOS contains a double negative which unintentionally guarantees refunds: “The web site under no circumstances does not return the money spent on a mystery box.” Your lawyer might like that one.

PCGamer – Loot box gambling and YouTubers team up to ruin 2019 as quickly as possible

The Influencers

There is some need for compassion for those who were promoting the loot boxes. There is a lot to think about here, starting with the fact that Jake Paul was about one stair rung from being a dude selling Juul pods to kids at the High School and ending with the fact that the company was throwing a lot of money around. I mean a lot.

So, Jake Paul and a few other major YouTubers took an approximate payout of $100,000 USD for promoting the site on their channel. For someone like Jake Paul, who has acknowledged that a large portion of his viewers are children, is basically one step away from a dude selling Juul pods at the local High School. Like, I wonder how many parents woke up to a surprise as their kids went through a few grand buying fake mystery boxes on a website.

Those who are just grinding, got some sweet cash and pushed the ads through their site are likely innocent and if not victims themselves. I think their communities should push on them to do better, but not necessarily are they the bad ones here.

Shoutout to Keemstar who refused the money.

The Media

Reporting on this probably has made the situation worse, giving MysteryBrand a leg-up over similar sites. The key issue here isn’t so much how offensive the idea of real life loot boxes is. I wouldn’t have heard about it if it wasn’t on every site – likewise though, it’s something that needs awareness because an unregulated gambling site reminds me a lot of unregulated gambling back in the early 2000s in video games like Second Life that you could cash out real money.

You’d buy “Lindens” and then gamble at a machine that promises to be fair. You can then cash out your winnings, if such a thing existed.

This is effectively gambling and it’s super unregulated. We have promises from the company it’s legit, but we also have people making claims about counterfeits, long shipping time and basically winning nothing but a ton of Amazon junk or if buying a more expensive box, ending up with only the prizes worth less than the box itself, while influencers seem to be pulling a pair of Yeezys on their first draw.

What do you think, though? Are lootboxes going to make its way into the mainstream or will something like this get shut down? Let us know below.

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