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    The gamblification of digital games

    Brock, Thomas ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0965-0945 (2021) The gamblification of digital games. Journal of Consumer Culture, 21 (1). pp. 3-13. ISSN 1469-5405

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    Abstract

    The consumption of digital games has become increasingly "gamblified" (Gainsbury et al, 2015; Zanescu et al, 2020) in recent years. Due to the changes in media landscape such as the development of new forms of gambling via the Internet and mobile phones, consumers can now play games and gamble in real-time and from almost any location (Newall et al, 2019; King et al, 2010; Griffiths & Parke, 2010). The growing intersections between digital games, gambling, and consumption practices afforded by these technological changes take many forms (Albarrán-Torres, 2018). Some players pursue what has become known as "skin betting", which involves wagering digital "skins" (virtual appearances) of characters either within games or on third-party websites and platforms (Greer et al, 2019); others bet on esports (competitive digital gaming) competitions in a manner comparable to traditional sports betting (Gainsbury et al, 2017); others utilise "gamblified" monetisation methods when watching and engaging with live-streamed digital game content on platforms such as Twitch.tv (Abarbanel & Johnson, 2020); while others still purchase loot boxes, the focus of many of the papers in our particular issues, which involve paying real-world money for an unpredictable set of in-game virtual items (Macey & Hamari, 2019, Nielsen & Grabarczyk, 2019). Our goal in this special issue is to begin to elucidate some of the changes in consumption patterns, both within "gaming" and "gambling", that we see heralded by these developments.

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