Online Video Gaming’s Impact on Youth :
- Online video gaming has become one in every of the world’s preferred leisure activities among youth. Mobile phones are the foremost preferred devices but, experienced gamer(s) tend to shift to larger screens with an 86% stake with an 11% stake for Laptops and 4% Stake for Tablets.
- Research has consistently shown that gaming can bring many positive benefits including therapeutic, medical, health, cognitive and academic benefits. There are many other benefits and some of the “Learning and development benefits” like it can be a great source to develop early learning skills for younger children, Enhances memory, brain speed, and concentration, Improved multi-tasking skills and Promotes teamwork and builds confidence amongst kids.
- However gaming can be problematic and potentially addictive and there is no formal rating system in India and there has been no formal study on the negative psychosocial impact of Indian gamers, we have tried to illustrate few international examples for awareness purposes.
Online Gaming has multiple ways of participation today :
- Channels : Via – Browser, Apps & Pre Loaded Gadgets
- Device Used : Consoles, PC / Laptops & Mobile / Laptops
- Mode’s of Playing : Offline & Inline
Rating of Games :
- EC = Early Childhood – Content that may be suitable for persons ages three and older.
- E = Everyone – Content that may be suitable for persons ages six and older.
- T = Teen – Content that may be suitable for persons ages 13 and older.
- M = Mature – Content that may be suitable for persons ages 17 and older.
- AO = Adults Only – Content suitable only for adults i.e. Above 18.
- Pictures (i) Parental Guidance (ii) Violence and (iii) Bad Language (iv) 18 Years
Game Genres :
- Puzzle : Problem Solving Skills – (Example: Rush Hour)
- Action : Physical Challenges – (Example: The Legends of Zelda: Breath of the Wild)
- Strategy : Gamer(s) Decision Making Skills – (Example: Starcraft with Brood War Expansion)
- Adventure : Story-based – (Example: Harry Potter’s Hogwarts Mystery)
- Arcade : Single-player Games – (Example: Space Invaders)
- Sports : Sports – (Example: EA Sports Cricket)
- Skill based : Mental Skills – (Example: Poker)
Monetisation Models :
- In App advertisement
- In Game product
- Incentive based advertisement
- Purchase / pay per download
- Premium / upgrades
- In App purchases
Internet Gaming Disorder :
- As the name suggests, internet gaming disorder is an addiction to excessive mobile, pc or console gaming. Popular games such as PubG, Candy Crush, and Fortnite have gotten teenagers and adults, equally, addicted to playing games on their electronic devices. A study by www.wearesocial.com shows that an average gamer in India spends about 4-5 hours of his day on gaming.
- Obsessive computer game playing can be harmful in certain settings. It can easily distract one from completing their tasks and can also distract office workers during their jobs. Such an addiction can be diagnosed when an individual spends more time on online games and engages in them even when it has a harmful effect on their daily tasks and responsibilities. In the recent past, almost 35 Plus Chinese Gaming Apps were banned in India, which include PUBG Mobile, Carrom Friends, Ludo All-Star.
- Despite the popularity of gaming in India, there have been no formal dedicated studies on the negative psychosocial impact. American Psychiatric Association notes that symptoms like preoccupation with gaming, withdrawal symptoms when gaming is taken away or not possible (sadness, anxiety, irritability, suicide and substance addiction), inability to reduce playing, unsuccessful attempts to quit gaming, giving up other activities, loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities due to gaming, etc., can indicate a potential gaming addiction.
Recommendations for Kids and Parents :
- Enable Parental controls for all gaming apps.
- Set time limits – Use the Family Cellphone agreement and Internet Screen Time Agreement, you can download these from https://www.endnowfoundation.org/downloads.php
- Keep phones and other gadgets out of the bedroom and kids shouldn’t play at night.
- Keeping personal information private while playing online games.
- Dealing with stress and anger while gaming by taking regular breaks.
- Being critical of spending money In-App purchases (Parents suggested to keep low credit value cards).
- Keeping the language positive and avoid Cyberbullying.
- Be aware that not everyone online is who think.
- Set privacy controls and stop a possible online abuse.
- Green Time is more important than Screen Time – Ask you kids to go out and do physical game playing.