Dark Patterns and Mainstream Gaming

Gaming evolution could not be complete without redefining what makes something safe and reliable. Even companies which follow current best practices don’t allow outsiders to objectively verify if stated safeguards or precautions are in place. Unfortunately, many widely acceptable gaming mechanics are specifically designed to cost players, with or without their explicit understanding or consent.

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These unethical methods are considered culturally-acceptable simply because there are no reliable, accessible alternatives. Gamers must approach these issues from a place of practiced resignation in order to still find enjoyment within a morally-grey system; a system which collapses on itself when public accountability becomes the norm. Users who are involved in online gaming frequently find themselves interacting with dark patterns, such as loot boxes, pay to skip, or artificial scarcity, which are intentionally designed to be money traps. Furthermore, mainstream gaming standards prevent transparency by not requiring games to honestly represent the odds within their software, or if those odds could fluctuate based on of skill/purchase history. This removes agency from the individual and forces them to put their trust in a corporate entity without access to objective truth. It’s only through a reconceptualization of how games can exist and interact through blockchain technology that Royal Protocol can shift the standard of accountability to empower and protect users.

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