Online gaming: Time to hit pause

Online gaming: Time to hit pause

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Online gaming People who grew up in the 90s and early 2000s could remember the days when they needed to beg their parents to spend money on a trip to the cyber café to play one hour (or) play computer-based games. Games like Road Rash and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City were the ultimate goal for a lot of young people back then.

But, over time the culture of gaming has shifted across the globe. Mobile phones, as well as other digital devices, becoming a regular part of everyday life there are no more days where you needed to put aside your money to play for an hour in the cyberworld. There’s no doubt that to a certain Online gaming extent technological advancement has proved to be an advantage, not just for gamers and gamers. Aside from aiding in reducing stress, it’s also known to boost problem-solving abilities as well as dexterity and coordination. However, the flip side is the possibility of the problem of cyber addiction among many teenagers.

“The web can be a narcotic experience due to the abundance of information available. It’s not surprising for a lot of children to become obsessed,” shares Faridabad-based clinical psychologist, Dr. Srividya Rajaram.

Although India isn’t the only country to be prone to crime triggered by gaming addiction, recent news of a child from Lucknow accused of killing his mother after she banned him from playing PUBG — an online battle royale game has brought the subject of addiction to gaming back to the fore. On Tuesday, reports surfaced of fresh revelations in the incident, and an investigation by the Research Wing of the Uttar Pradesh State Commission for Protection of Child Rights investigating the case right now.

In a separate report in the report, a 15-year-old boy was reported to have committed suicide at the age 15 in Andhra Pradesh after being mocked for losing the PUBG game on Sunday. As per an article from the Indian Journal of Community Medicine as well as Public Health 2020, about 3.5 percent of Indian adolescents are affected by Internet Gaming Disorder (IGD)–a behavioral disorder that is linked to the addiction to online gaming. “Adolescents are constantly seeking to have fun. If they are not controlled it can lead to addiction. The person who is addicted to gaming is controlled by an external force, and anyone who stops them from engaging in the habit usually leads to aggressive behavior,” adds Dr. Srividya. In this case, it is crucial to assess the severity of addiction to online gaming.

The impact of lockdown

The lockdown caused by the pandemic has also led to an increase in the amount of time spent gaming. “Being locked in a home for an indefinite period teenagers required something to do. Gaming has been an integral element of growing older. Without a physical space and the shift into the virtual world,” says Laxmi Nagar-based professional gamer Aashi who goes under the name of Savage Girl. Pitampura resident Gavnish Khurana, also a gamer, says “During COVID-19 we played plenty of time. Gaming became a habit in the past. A lot of people did not realize that they were losing time that led to an increase of the routine.”

The primary reason

Gamers say that excessive activity will lead to addiction. “Nothing should be performed in excess. Some people overdo their gaming time, and this is when problems develop,” adds Rajouri Garden-resident and professional player, Simar Sethi, who goes by the name Psy to refer to gaming. According to Aashi, the issue is not with the games that are played, however, but rather in the inability to detect the compulsive behavior caused by a loss of control. “People should realize that the games themselves are not the problem. The ability to establish time differences between the game and in the real world is something that many teenagers are unable to accomplish,” she adds.

Beyond the psychological ramifications, the continued playing of video games can be detrimental to physical health. Sethi mentions his own experience, and explains, “I have Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) in my hands. It was because, during my childhood, I had not taken good care of my physical health.” Sethi adds that “Every e-sports athlete is always advised to train physically so that they are at the top of their game.”

Maintaining a steady routine

It is crucial that players online establish limits that help to build sena se of stability. A set time for gaming that doesn’t exceed four hours per day, is suggested. “Don’t forget that it is a game and that you should control it, not the other way round,” states Khurana. In her remarks on how one must not sacrifice their education because of playing, Sethi concludes, “While gaming has been instrumental in my life, there have been times when I think if it was not for gaming, what would I have done. Prioritizing your studies can help open up other avenues.”

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