Many games treat loot as another facet of levelling with different mechanics. Jim, Brian and Tom all have issues with the way that loot mechanics appear to be evolving in current games. Jim also has a principled objection to the way that loot reinforces materialism/consumerism. Many themes from Episode 5 - Grind are invoked.
Loot can be a great cause of stress. First, rapidly-levelling players often "grow out" of their loot and gear needs to be constantly refreshed for a player to remain competitive. Games like Torchlight or Borderlands also throw a great volume of loot drops at players, which requires effort to sort and sell.
Still, loot - particularly interesting and creative loot, has the ability to tug at our heartstrings. Brian, Jim and Tom discuss the Gameological Society's 'best treasure ever' bracket and their own favorite in-game items.
Links to referenced items:
Starcraft, Limbo, Passage, Domesticated Foxes, Material World, Dead Space, God of War, Legend of Zelda, Dungeons and Dragons, Elder Scrolls, Borderlands, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Torchlight Two, Diablo, Bastion, Boxinalia, Inner Wealth, Dungeon Defenders, World of Warcraft, Wowhead, Dragon Kill Points, Best Treasure Ever, Wabbajack, Fallout 2, Alien Blaster, Steam Tonk, Nethack, Mjollnir.