I am begging you to stop adding loot to games that don’t need it

I play videogames for a lot of reasons: to flood my brain with dopamine from intense action, to hang out with my friends on Discord, to explore imaginary worlds I could’ve never dreamed up myself. I don’t play videogames to spend hours sifting through garbage. If I wanted to shove my hands into piles of rotting trash to root around for something of value, I’d go to the landfill and lose my mind in pure ecstasy. But—and I don’t think this is a particularly hot take—picking up garbage sucks, actually. I do not want to do it. So why do so many videogames think I’m some kind of little trash-loving freak?

Loot is now the pink slime of game mechanics: some filler you squirt in between the meat

There was a time, not that long ago, when I felt like I could safely identify a “loot game” from afar. If not quite a genre, loot games have typically been a subset of RPGs that use a constant drip feed of new gear as a lure and a key element of combat. Diablo gave us color-coded loot, and a few years later it became a defining feature of MMOs like World of Warcraft. It’s an obvious pairing: MMOs want players to stick around for hundreds or thousands of hours, anyway, so why not give them a steady stream of rewards to sell, with the occasional thrill of a truly great item drop? 

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