Andy Robertson is a freelance family technology expert for the BBC. He runs the Family Gamer TV YouTube channel and contributes to a range of national media on the topic of video games and family. A father of three, Andy's book Taming Gaming helps parents guide children in healthy play.See more from Andy Robertson
What You Need to Know about Loot Boxes and Skin Betting
This week's free online safety guide focuses on loot boxes & skin betting. Some video games offer “loot boxes”, similar to purchasing a pack of Panini football stickers, players don’t know what they will get in a loot box. The guide takes a look at how to tackle a range of potential risks such as gambling, unregulated third-party communities and in-app purchases.
A free online safety guide on loot boxes & skin betting.
Some video games offer “loot boxes” as a way to purchase items. Similar to purchasing a pack of football stickers, players don’t know exactly what they will get. They may get a common item that has a low value in the game. Equally, they may get a rare item that has a high value.
“Skin betting” is when players use virtual items they have earned or purchased in games (often titled ‘skins’ because they are cosmetic features) as gambling currency. Players can use websites or apps outside of the game itself, which are mostly unregulated, to bet with “skins” on eSports competition outcomes. This becomes a legal issue when the “skins” you win can be converted to cash.
In the guide, you'll find tips on a number of potential risks such as gambling, unregulated third-party communities and in-app purchases.