On September 16, Jan Böhmermann made fun of the German streamer Montana Black. Marcel Eris, as the streamer’s real name is, was the target of a parody in the current output of the broadcast “ZDF Magazin Royale” ran. As always with Jan Böhmermann, he also had more serious intentions here: The almost 22-minute contribution also clarified “in-game purchases” and the dangerous gambling aspect behind them.

    Summary of the post:

    The article begins with Jan Böhmermann sitting at his desk as usual. What is new, however, is the facecam in the left corner of the screen, which shows Böhmermann in the gaming chair, a microphone hanging in front of his face, with large headphones on his ears and many blue glowing elements in the background. Not only does the setup of many streamers look similar, especially that of Montana Black comes very close. Likewise the outfit with a black cap, black tank top and shiny chain.

    Montana Black says in an interview with streamer Trymacs:

    “…it was definitely a reference to me. But I think if it had been such a complete thing, then you might have shown a tattoo like that.”

    After greeting Böhmermann, we continue with some clips from streamers and facts about the gaming industry. Matching comments from “Böhmermann-Montana-Black”, which range between apt and unpleasantly exaggerated representation of a typical streamer. Böhmermann first explains the topic of microtransactions using the game “Merge Dragons”. A game like any other with in-app purchases. The “dark patterns” contained therein are dangerous because they tempt users to carry out certain actions that are not always in the interests of the users. In the gaming industry, this means spending as much money as possible through microtransactions, for example.

    This mechanism is used above all by the company EA, which not only releases a new version of its game “FIFA” every year, but also offers in-game purchases in particular via the “FIFA Ultimate Team” mode. The options are either play very long or spend money. You can buy packs and draw players for your team. The most expensive ones cost €22.96 and contain a random selection of players. For example, to get a card from the player Mbappé, according to Norwegian consumer protection, you can spend up to 13,500 euros. Without spending any money, you would have to play continuously for three years to get this card.

    These so-called “loot boxes”, i.e. the acquisition of random content for money, are strongly reminiscent of gambling. Likewise, the term “whale” used to describe the people who are overly lucrative for the gaming industry originally came from the gambling industry.

    In the end, Böhmermann complains that there are “a lot of assholes on Twitch [gibt]who make a bunch of money promoting the in-game gambling shit as well. Assholes like him” – looking at himself as a Montana Black parody. After some insults by the two Böhmermanns, the video ends.

    Montana Black’s reaction:

    Montana Black sees it despite all the allusions and criticism, rather relaxed and says:

    “A Max (name of the streamer Trymacs) or I or the others are also aware of that – that it’s basically not far from gambling. But it’s content for us and we’re just hoping that people will realize that we’re people who have more money and we’re blowing it away. And I hope that people are masters of themselves and that in the end everyone is responsible for themselves.”