Online games: it’s time to take a break
Those who grew up in the 90s and early 2000s would remember a time when you had to beg your parents to fund a visit to the internet cafe just to indulge in an hour (or more) of computer games. . Games such as Road Rash and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City were the alpha and omega for many young people back then.
However, over the years, gaming culture has evolved around the world. With cell phones and other electronic gadgets now becoming an integral part of a person’s life, the days of saving pocket money to spend an hour in cyberspace are over. There’s no doubt that, to some degree, advancements in technology have been a boon, both to games and players – as well as helping to relieve stress, it’s been known to improve problem solving skills. problems, dexterity, etc. , includes internet addiction in many adolescents.
“The web is an addictive experience due to the amount of information available. It is quite understandable that many children are addicted,” shares Dr. Srividya Rajaram, a clinical psychologist based in Faridabad.
Although India is not new to crimes triggered due to gambling addiction, recent reports of a young boy from Lucknow who allegedly killed his mother after she banned him from playing PUBG, a game online battle royale games have once again brought the problem of gambling addiction to light. On Tuesday, new revelations were reported in the case, with the research wing of the Uttar Pradesh State Commission for the Protection of Child Rights investigating the case now.
In another report, a 15-year-old boy died by suicide in Andhra Pradesh after being teased for losing a PUBG game on Sunday. In fact, according to a recent study by the Indian Journal of Community Medicine and Public Health 2020, about 3.5% of Indian adolescents suffer from Internet gaming disorder (IGD), a behavioral disorder associated with online gaming addiction. “Adolescents have a constant need for pleasure. If left unchecked, it can turn into addiction. A dependent person [to gaming] is controlled by an outside force and someone stops him from indulging in addiction usually results in aggressive behavior,” adds Dr Srividya. In such a scenario, it is extremely important to assess the severity of online gambling addiction.
Impact of containment
The pandemic-induced lockdown has also led to an increase in time spent gaming. “Being stuck at home indefinitely, teenagers needed something to keep them entertained. Games have been part of the growth. With no physical space available, it shifted to virtual space,” says Laxmi Nagar-based professional gamer Aashi, who goes by the name Savage Girl. Gavnish Khurana, Pitampura resident who is also a gaming enthusiast, adds, “During COVID-19, we had a lot of time. I feel like the game became a habit back then. Many did not feel the waste of time, which led to an excess of the habit.
The root cause
Players point out that any excess will lead to addiction. “Nothing should be overdone. People go overboard with their playing time and that’s where the problems arise,” adds Rajouri Garden resident and professional gamer Simar Sethi, who uses the nickname Psy for games. According to Aashi, the problem is not in the games played, but in the inability to identify compulsive behavior due to loss of control. “People need to understand that the games aren’t the problem. Being able to make designated time differences for both the game and their real-world time is what many teenagers fail to realize. “, she adds.
Besides the psychological consequences, continued gambling can also have drastic effects on physical health. Sethi, citing his own example, shares, “I have repetitive strain injury (RSI) on my hands. It’s because during my childhood I didn’t take good care of my physical health.” He adds, “Every esports athlete is always advised to train physically in order to be at the top of their game.”
Have a steady routine
It is important for an online player to establish boundaries that will help create a sense of stability. It is recommended to have a designated playing schedule, which does not exceed four hours per day. “Remember, it’s a game and you have to control it, not the other way around,” Khurana mentions. Insisting that their upbringing should not be compromised because of the game, Sethi concludes: “Although the game has been instrumental in my life, there have been times when I thought to myself that if it hadn’t been for the game, what would I have done. Prioritizing your studies can help open up other pathways.”
Giving advice on what parents can do for teenage gamers, Dr Srividya Rajaram shares…
1. Spend time with your children and talk to them.
2. Keep an eye on in-game purchases. Better understand the games played to learn more about child psychology.
3. Educate children about cybersecurity.
4. Educate them about the limits. It may not be easy, but parents must try.