What if, listen to me, we stopped ruining games with crappy loot

I play video games for many reasons: to flood my brain with dopamine from intense action, to hang out with my friends on Discord, to explore imaginary worlds I would never have thought of on my own. I don’t play video games to spend hours digging through garbage. If I wanted to shove my hands into piles of rotting garbage to find something of value, I’d go to a landfill and lose my mind in pure ecstasy. But – and I don’t think it’s particularly fashionable – garbage collection it sucks, Actually. I do not want to do it. So why do so many video games consider me some kind of trash-loving little freak?

The loot is now the pink ooze of the game mechanics: some kind of filler you inject between the meat

There was a time, not too long ago, when I felt I could safely identify a “loot game” from a distance. If not quite a genre, loot games have tended to be a subset of role-playing games that use the constant feeding of new gear as bait and a key element of combat. Diablo gave us color-coded loot, and a few years later it became a hallmark of MMOs like World of Warcraft. It’s an obvious connection: MMOs want players to stick with the game for hundreds or thousands of hours anyway, so why not give them a steady stream of prizes to sell, with the occasional thrill of dropping some really great items?

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