A Lootbox is a special type of in-app purchase. The term Lootbox can be translated as “loot box”. Such a box can be acquired in many console games or game apps. It resembles a grab bag because its contents are not known before purchase. Often, these paid in-game purchases are items that are not relevant to the game, such as a new outfit for the character or additional equipment. A player can purchase a Lootbox for real money or in-game currency. Particularly valuable items are rare and the percentage of rivets is high. That’s why a Lootbox is like a game of chance and has been under critical scrutiny for some time. It has even been considered to ban them, as gambling should not be accessible to children and teenagers under the age of 18. The Entertainment Software Self-Regulation Body (USK) does not consider Lootboxes to be gambling, but advises parents to take a closer look.
To make sure your child doesn’t fall into the cost trap, you should discuss with him or her what Lootboxes are and how game makers plan to make money with them. It’s best to try out a new game together with your child, as it’s sometimes impossible to tell beforehand if lootboxes play a role.
If your child absolutely wants to buy a Lootbox, you can agree on rules for this. Just as with the allocation of media use time, you can, in consultation with your child, convert some of the pocket money into virtual play money that can be used for such purposes. In this way, your child learns bit by bit how to handle his or her pocket money responsibly.