A three-year study into the impact of video game loot boxes on young people has concluded that such mechanics cause “financial and emotional harm” to teenagers and children.

The report, published by Newcastle and Loughborough Universities, tracked the gaming habits of 42 families with children aged between five and 17, and interviewed another 30 parents, carers and video game designers.

In short, the study found children struggled to track spending in video games where “highly alluring” digital items were advertised to them using techniques borrowed from regulated gambling.

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