The UK's National Health Service's (NHS) mental health director Claire Murdoch has said that video game companies should not be putting gambling mechanics in their releases.
In a post on NHS England's website, Murdoch said that such mechanics in video games were teaching young people to gamble and setting them up for addiction. This comes in the midst of an on-going debate about loot boxes and the risks they pose.
A Department of Digital, Media, Culture and Sport select committee last year into addictive and immersive technologies said that publishers and developers needed to work with European rating agency PEGI on the subject of loot boxes and advised the organisation to label 'gambling' content as such.
"Frankly no company should be setting kids up for addiction by teaching them to gamble on the content of these loot boxes. No firm should sell to children loot box games with this element of chance, so yes those sales should end," Murdoch wrote.
“Young people’s health is at stake, and although the NHS is stepping up with these new, innovative services available to families through our Long Term Plan, we cannot do this alone, so other parts of society must do what they can to limit risks and safeguard children’s wellbeing.”