[Discussion] Gacha, Pseudo Gambling, Pity timers, Shops and ethics or Ethical profits?
As far as I know there are multiple versions of Gacha, only two are semi ethical for 13- 21 year olds.
Complete Gacha, or Kompu Gacha, is illegal in Japan and most countries.
Merciless RNG Gacha
Research is showing most IMPLEMENTATIONS of merciless RNG Gacha are equivalent to gambling.
Pity timer Gacha
Research is showing most IMPLEMENTATIONS of pity timer RNG Gacha are equivalent to gambling.
Modern analytics can even use hidden pity timers to increase micro transactions buy rewarding certain buying patterns, and play styles.
The only semi ethical version of Gacha, that I know of is hybrid currency Gacha, and bonus Gacha.
Hybrid Currency Gacha
For hybrid currency Gacha you have a shop selling Gravemaker for 5000 shards, Jackal for 1500 shards, Nordi for 500 shards.
Players can buy 100 shards for $1.00 USD.
Players can earn shards from game play ( grinding ).
Or players can earn shards from gacha. Example if you could retire heroes for 10% ( standard ), or 1% ( very grindy) shop price in shards, then gacha based Legendary training ( RT20 ) would generate 50 to 500 shards per hero trained, or 5 to 50 if very grindy.
This is ethical because all costs are transparent, and two alternatives to gacha - buying or grinding - are present to mitigate the gacha.
This is the inverse of hybrid currency Gacha.
Every time you buy / grind shards, you have a chance to get a hero.
If you buy / grind 500 shards, you also get a chance at a free Nordi. Buy/ grind 1500 shards, you also get a chance at a free Jackal. Buy/ grind 5000 shards and you also get a chance at a free Gravemaker.
So if you buy/ grind 5000 shards to get Gravemaker and get a free Gravemaker, then you can use the 5000 shards to buy a second Gravemaker, any combination of heroes worth 5000 shards, save all 5000 shards, or any combination of heroes and saving shards.
This is also transparent, you can more easily see prices in shards ( currency neutral ) and micro transaction prices. But sometimes you will get free heroes.
13- 21 year olds
To make it actually ethical, the gacha elements of hybrid currency Gacha, and bonus Gacha would have to be turned off for 13- 21 year olds.
Niantic has several features turned off for players considered minors in their countries in Ingress Prime, Pokémon GO and Wizards Unite.
4* ascension items
4* ascension items are very very close to complete gacha, or Kompu Gacha, which was banned. Research might show it is a legal loophole.
Emblems are less close than 4* ascension items to complete gacha, or Kompu Gacha, which was banned, but still closer to complete gacha than shops with purchase/ grinding neutral currency. Research might show it is a legal loophole.
Why is gambling unethical? Why do we not roll dice when buying dinner? a coat? a car? a house?
When properly regulated, we do place bets every day, it is called insurance ( car, house, death, etc. ).
But in the case of insurance, the population as a whole covers the cost of a few rare unfortunate incidents ( see notes ). In the USA, Underwriters Laboratory ( UL ) checks products for safety. UL is funded by insurance companies to increase profits, but benefits the population by decreasing misfortunes.
Ethical gacha is the inverse of insurance. The population as a whole covers the cost - in micro transactions - of a few rare FORTUNATE incidents.
This shows how gambling can lead to global problems but also explains how insurance is a good form of gambling.