A mixed-method investigation of the gaming/gambling interface

Funder information

  • ' Gambleaware
  • * £300,000
  • & 01/11/2019 – 01/07/2021

In recent years, there has been a diversification in how the computer gaming industry monetises content across various platforms (including mobile devices). Developers are making increasing use of ‘microtransactions’: small payments, where players can upgrade content, unlock features and remove adverts. One particular type of microtransaction, ‘loot-boxes,’ have come under particular scrutiny – these chance-based microtransactions have a randomly assigned outcome. It has been established that problem gamblers are disproportionately susceptible to loot-box purchasing, leading to suggestions they are psychologically akin to gambling and subsequent legislation in some foreign jurisdictions. Our aim is to investigate the gaming-gambling interface and its impact on mental health and wellbeing, exploring engagement, motivations, barriers and facilitators for interaction with loot-boxes.


In Collaboration with

  • A Dr Joanne Lloyd: University of Wolverhampton
  • A Dr Maria Uther: University of Wolverhampton
  • A Dr Chris Fullwood: University of Wolverhampton
  • A Dr Thomas Rayman: University of Northumbria
  • A Dr Christ Stiff: Keele University