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A gamer has spoken about his addiction to buying FIFA packs, which led to him spending the entirety of his university savings.
"I distinctly remember back in 2012, when I first asked my parents if I could use my money to buy packs, and my frustration when my dad said the packs were "gambling", before finally agreeing," Peniket recalled.
"The idea that it was gambling seemed ridiculous to me at the time. I understood that the chances of 'packing' my favourite players were low.
"I spent the money, opened my packs, got lucky a couple of times, and tried to be positive, despite being left feeling slightly underwhelmed. 'If I could just spend another £15...', I thought.
"Four years followed of spending more and more money on player packs - each time seeking that buzz that would only occasionally come.
"As time went on, I was becoming increasingly secretive about it. I would buy a voucher from a High Street shop and hide it in my room, so my parents wouldn't find out how much I was spending.
"...2017 was the year that changed everything in my life. I was completing my last year of A-levels, with vague plans to go to university. In September my mum was diagnosed with cancer.
"Everything became about waiting until it would all just be a memory. Waiting until the day that my mum's treatment would be over, when I'd have finished my exams and we could all appreciate normal life again.
"I searched for any way to cope. The buzz of opening packs offered me an escape.
"..."I was spending £30 at a time, then £40, then £50. By the time my card began to block my transactions, I was throwing £80 into the game four or five times a night.
"...A few weeks before my exams, after days of watching people open packs on YouTube whilst my parents thought I was upstairs revising, the moment came when the money ran out.
"Money that my parents and grandparents had worked for, that had been given to me as savings for my future. I had blown almost £3,000.
"I accept responsibility for what happened. The decisions I made to spend that money were made by me. My parents were heartbroken when they found out and read through the bank statements."
FIFA 21 is due out on October 9th but if you pre order the latest edition of the world's most famous football game franchise then you'll have it by October 6th.
How much longer players in the UK will be able to buy 'FIFA packs' remains to be seen, especially for those under the age of 18, though.
Do you think loot boxes should be counted as gambling?
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