Impact of too much Video Games on Youth

In general, computer games or games have recently achieved a lot of popularity through all the different platforms and demand continues to rise. We’ve both played football or computer games on a PC or a tablet. The widespread growth in game popularity is attributed to advancements in technology: hardware as well as software. Moreover, due to the lockdown the craze for games has been increased 10x times and tremendously affected the mental health of youth. 

Playing video games is no longer limited to just those with gaming consoles or personal machines, with almost each of us having a smartphone. It became a success with kids and adults alike when Candy Crush was launched in 2014. Multiple people had their heads trapped in the smartphone game everywhere we looked, whether it was on public transport, or on college campuses, or outside classrooms, sliding matching coloured candies to pair them up to get the adrenalin rush that comes from finishing a stage.

Nobody spoke of a Candy Crush ban, though, as it was not regarded as a dangerous task. Today, fans of smartphone gaming have turned to another addictive shooting title for first person-PUBG. Player Unknown ‘s Battle Grounds (PUBG) is played by almost 400 million people around the world.

Up to a hundred players jump onto an island in each game and then search for arms to destroy the others without killing themselves. A game is won by the last player or the last team left. What’s not to enjoy, the excitement of being the last one to stand, the instant satisfaction, and the rush of adrenalin? Many of us literally keep coming here for more at PUBG. It seems like we cannot get enough!

As related games such as H1Z1, Fortnite and Rules of Survival have existed for years, the Battle Royal-style game is nothing new. Then why is PUBG being such a huge concern that states are asking for a full ban on mobile gaming? Although PUBG doesn’t offer a whole different type of gaming, it sure brings something new. PUBG smartphone is cost-free, open to virtually all, and does not require any skills to start playing. “But there are two sides of each coin.

Simple connectivity and no expense have also made PUBG accessible of young children who are easily affected by the game,” says Meenal Arora, Founding Director of the Revolutionary Schools Shemford Community. Most importantly, in real time, you can play PUBG and voice chat with your friends! This is similar to the method of the popular PC game Counter strike, and it could become very addictive because of the human interaction with other players.

When playing, both children and adults lose track of time, at the risk of avoiding research, jobs or other tasks. Divya Palaniappan, Child Psychologist, Flinto R&D Centre, says, “Strategizing to meet goals with peers has the kids excited and hooked on these sports”. Add to this, along with its promotion strategies by online gaming activities, the impressive audiovisual capabilities of PUBG and you have a major gaming addiction epidemic in the making. Parents are worried over reports of abuse, self-harm, and news of injuries while travelling due to being immersed in playing PUBG. Few recent cases are listed below:-

Case 1-Exam loss (source: News18 2019): A Karnataka (a south-western state) young unidentified Indian boy who had won distinction in his High School Leaving Certificate exam reportedly got so addicted to the online PUBG game that he stopped learning. What he was able to write in his pre-university Economics test was how to download and play PUBG. He said in an interview that BI was studious, but was drawn to PUBG as it was fun, and soon became addicted to it. Sometimes he even bunked classes to play the game and sat in the nearby garden.

Case 2- Drinking acid instead of water: A young adult from Chhindwara (in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh) was reportedly so interested in playing PUBG that he drank acid assuming it was a bottle of wine. Case 4- Drinking acid instead of wine by accident (source: latest 2019a): He underwent Dr. Manan Gogia ‘s successful intestinal surgery and has since recovered.

Case 5-Suicide attempt: A 14-year-old boy, Akash Ostwal, reportedly attempted suicide in a fit of rage by swallowing poison after his mother took away his cell phone in an incident in Nashik (in the northwest region of Maharashtra), because she did not want him to play the PUBG game because he spent too much time on it.

There are so many other cases also and it is clear that PUB-G only seem to impact of the youth and with the ban of this game only bring relief to the parents, because due to the addiction of this game, it create so many problems like:-

1. Health problems: Long gaming hours can increase the risks of obesity, weaken the muscles and knees, cause inappropriate posture, weaken eyesight and even cause headaches.

2. Behavioural issues: Violent games such as PUBG can cause negative emotions, feelings, and behaviour that influence the players’ emotional well-being. These will produce long-term associations on young children’s minds.

3. Failing social life: Long hours of people playing games end up becoming less socially engaged. It is unsafe for our physical and mental health to be alone, even though there is a clear voice link to friends in the game.

4. Disturbed sleep cycle: the sleep schedule is disturbed by spending long hours in front of the computer and individuals can sleep less just to play the game.

5. Exposure to incorrect values: Because children frequently tend to mimic the same actions as displayed in games, it can be hazardous to be subjected to unnecessary aggression, profanity, bigotry, and many other factors in games such as PUBG.

6. Obstructed academic performance: Children can miss homework or prepare for tests and choose to play video games.

Thus, it was very important to ban this game, because gaming addiction, be it violent games or non-violent games, is both a problem; but in the case of obviously violent games, it is difficult to overlook the increased danger, especially for children.

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