YGAM and the University of Plymouth to launch loot box education project

| By Marese O'Hagan
The Young Gamers and Gamblers Education Trust (YGAM) and academics from the University of Plymouth have joined forces to highlight the potential financial and mental harms of loot boxes.
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The two groups have launched a project, which will see tailored material offered to schools and specialised service providers to provide education on loot boxes.

University of Plymouth academics Dr Helen Lloyd and Dr James Close will work with YGAM to translate knowledge gathered through research into vulnerable groups, including children and people with special educational needs and disabilities, into educational tools.

This will involve a series of engagement and planning workshops, consisting of groups of 15 key people representing a number of organisations, to create a knowledge exchange plan facilitated by the team at the University of Plymouth.

“We are grateful to the University of Plymouth for funding us to work with YGAM and providers of services for vulnerable adults and children in the southwest,” said Lloyd. “Working in partnership with our wider stakeholders to use research-generated knowledge helps us support the important work that they do.”

“Working in this way we can tackle some of our most pressing societal issues while also creating local benefit.”

The 2005 UK Gambling Act does not cover loot boxes. In June 2020 the government announced a call for evidence on how loot boxes impact gambling behaviour, which YGAM contributed to. This ran from September to November 2020 and will form part of the government’s review of the 2005 Gambling Act.

In July 2020, a report from the House of Lords Committee on gambling harm called for loot boxes to be included in the Act.

“We’re delighted to be working with the University of Plymouth team,” said Kev Clelland, director of programme engagement at YGAM. “The study supports our commitment to ensuring all our programmes are evidence-led and external evaluations are used to further enhance our work.

“The subjects of loot boxes and videogame monetisation feature heavily in the public and political conversations on gambling and they also form a key part of our education workshops and our resources.”

The project will begin in May 2022.

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