Online gaming pushing adolescents into aggressive behaviour: Experts

Online gaming pushing adolescents into aggressive behaviour: Experts


Online gaming Based on the evidence of anecdotal sources, there’s been an increase of between 30 to 40 percent in instances of violent behaviour among youngsters who are addicted to Online gaming on the internet.

The constant confinement of home and longer in front of the computer and mobile phone Online gaming in the course of the pandemic has altered the way we behave as a result of which even children have been affected.

Online gaming was an escape mechanism for kids and young people especially for those with a lack of friends with their peers offline following COVID-19.

It also affected the behavior of adolescents, as demonstrated by a 6-year-old who fought his mother for preventing the game online such as PUBG.

Experts believe that the numbing environment of smartphones as well as computer monitors is steadily impacting the brain development of infants and children. They warn that the greater problem is to manage the aggressive nature of children who are developing because of their exposure to excessive online gaming.

“Online gaming addiction has led to a lack of focus and concentration, which has further resulted in a huge upsurge of restlessness, leading to aggression and bullying among adolescents,” said Dr. Ameeta Mulla Wattal, executive director of DLF Foundation Schools.

“The games stimulate the brain in such a manner that the child gets eventually addicted to constantly playing violent games and such patterns permeate into behaviour, leading to aggression and mood swings,” she added.

Agressions among regular gamers

Dr. Manoj Sharma, coordinator of India’s first Service for Healthy Use of Technology (SHUT) clinic at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), explained that post-COVID there has been an increase of between 30 to 40 percent in instances of violent behavior by children who are addicted to online gaming.

“Earlier, we witnessed seven to eight cases of children with aggressive behaviour having the habit of playing online games for over eight to 10 hours a day; now after COVID, there is a rise of 30 to 40 percent in such cases visiting SHUT clinic,” Dr. Sharma added.

Dr. Sharma is an associate professor of clinical psychology Dr Sharma, a professor of clinical psychology, stated that COVID-19 has increased access for children to electronic devices where they can play video games and keep in touch with their peers.

“Online games such as PUBG do not require any particular level of skill, so anyone or any other age may play. It is a game that challenges players and rewards players for completing it. Children see the video game as a method of getting to deal with everyday circumstances, have fun with their friends, and deal with their anger and repressed anger,” said the expert.

A need for a regulated framework

National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) chairperson Priyank Kanoongo has said that a reliable regulation mechanism that can decide if dangerous games such as PUBG should be permitted in India is the urgent need.

“A panel for the creation of a framework for regulation should be established in India. It could be formed with diverse stakeholders, including teacher, child psychologists as well as parent representatives, and so on to ensure the safety of children” he stated.

Kanoongo recently sought a reply from the Secretary of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology regarding how PUBG that was prohibited in India and is now accessible in the country.

Screentime is longer, higher emotional impact

Dr. Sathish Girimaji, the former director of NIMHANS and NIMHANS, blamed the explosion of screen use as a factor in causing damage to children psychologically.

“Not only online gaming continuous and frequent use of screens as well as their usage can affect the psychological development of children. Screen usage has increased exponentially since the onset of COVID19. Being trapped to the confines of the homes they live in during this outbreak has made the situation go from bad to worse” he added.

The doctor. Girimaji, who was the senior professor of psychiatry for children and adolescents at NIMHANS Dr. Girimaji said that the exposure of violent gaming may have an unintentional connection with the adolescent’s aggression.

“The type of knowledge that youngsters were expected to acquire, but otherwise it didn’t happen, as screen exposure has led to a rise in social isolation. This can have a negative effect on their mental health,” he said.


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