The Daily Grind: Are cash-shop lotteries a black mark on MMOs?

Public lottery kiosk in Japan

Western players gripe about random number generators, especially when it comes to cash shops. Many of us rebel against paying for lockboxes in Star Trek Online, TCG cards in the now-defunct Star Wars Galaxies, and super-packs in City of Heroes because we want to buy a thing, not a chance at a thing.

Apparently, the idea annoys at least one government too. Earlier this week, rumors began swirling that the Japanese government might crack down on social games that employ "konpu gacha" -- essentially a crafting mechanic that requires a succession of lottery-esque random rolls. To gather the random and rare items you need to craft the gizmo you really want, you wind up spending tons of real cash on a bunch of stuff you don't. Sound familiar?

I'm not a fan of legislative meddling in how fools and their money are parted, but I'm still wondering what you all think. Are these kinds of cash-shop tricks fair play, or do you think the genre would be better off without them?

Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!