Depends. Turrets use randomness to determine hit&miss as well as quality and height of damage. Does this constitute gambling? If not then it’s just randomness, but if yes then we’re all pretty deep into it already. Same with ECM. Or jumping through a gate and not knowing what’s behind it is also a gamble.
I’d say he shows signs of an addiction. Not sure if I’d blame ECM for it.
Gambling also requires someone to lose in order for someone else to win wether it’s the house or the guy across the table from you. In this instance the person selling said modules/mutaplasmid only wins because they sold an item on the market which happens as is already. The person mutating something could win as well.
This and loot box mechanics are not gambling because you always get something (in this case bricked modules), even if it’s not the thing you want. Gambling is different because you may get nothing. Gametheory did a video on this a while back
I would actually not base a discussion on the legal aspect of it. For one, because it’s different for different countries, but more importantly is the topic addressing the mental health of players, which should always be a primary concern and not “How do we fend this off when we get our asses sued?”.
I’d say the chance for someone buying stupid amounts of PLEX only to buy officer modules and mutaplasmids to roll the ultimate items is certainly real. But it wouldn’t be new and players have already spend a lot of money only to buy PLEX and then get it blown up while hauling it in a T1 ship.
For an addiction to fully kick in does it need a little bit more, like being able to actually profit from the result. Neither the prices for Abyss modules are fixed, nor will competition leave much room for insane profits, and neither do the Abyss modules guarantee the ultimate victory. So I don’t quite see where the gamble triggers the pleasure centre of the brain to make this into a full blown addiction. The next ship loss is always around the corner to put a dampener on any euphoria one might get.
Yes, good point about losing vs. winning. On average the person who gambles with the Mutaplasmid machine, loses, while the house wins. The house wins because someone who get hooked on the Mutaplasmid machine, might buy PLEX with real money in order to be able to carry on with the gambling. One could raise the question wether or not the transmediary currency of ISK would countn as an inhibitor here, but taken the huge supply of it, I don’t think so. The gambling addicted know that there is the clear path from Real Money to PLEX to ISK to another round of gambling. He or she only needs to pay in order to gamble.
The fact that in the rare case of a player win it does not yield a real money price, could be considered as well. However, if your gambling win is in form of currency, a car, a haircut or an immaterial object seems of little importance. Otherwise there wouldn’t have been the previous bans on in-game gambling.
edit: Of course we can start looking into spoken and written law of the different countries (which I did partly already because I’m used to), but that’s not why I bring it up. The question is: isn’t this potentially encouraging dangerous addictive behavior beyond the normal scale of an online game?