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Today about 4.2 billion people have affordable access to the internet and this number continues to swell. Obviously, exposure to social sites and online video games is increasing with time. And at present, it has already reached to a point where we are compelled to use term ‘addiction’. Among video games, the online multiplayer battle game popularly known as Pub-G (Player unknown’s battle) has been all over headlines after its huge influence on its players. A number of cases have been reported in China, India including Jammu and Kashmir where players of this game were severely influenced.

As a matter of fact, there is no problem in playing video games. Psychologists and psychiatrists have researched that Videogame playing enhances the mental ability of a person like learning does. They believe, it is a sort of learning, which adds to the intelligence, attitude, and courage of a player. Some scientists are of opinion that playing of a video game can improve eye-hand coordination and visual-spatial capacity of a person. Recent findings suggest that videogame playing whip up neurons to release neurotransmitters that are important for the brain building. The Videogame has been found as a medium and an alternative to obviate negative thoughts and immoral distractions.

However, ‘excess of everything is bad’. Even if we receive much-needed oxygen in excess quantity, it can prove deleterious to our health. Same is the case with video games, like PubG. Playing the videogame beyond the bearable limit and being addicted to it, results into the problem. Diverse problems involving social, emotional, psychological etc. are associated with the videogame-addiction

Videogame-addiction, also called ‘pathological gaming’ renders a player socially isolated. He does not get time for his family and friends. In most cases, he remains associated with the people around him physically, but mentally he is found lost. Gamer remains cut off from his personal activities including those that could boost his mental and physical health like, sports, interactions with family, pals etc. By consuming much time in playing games, the person fails to concentrate on studies and consequentially his career may meet an unfavorable end.

Too much obsession with video games may cause health ailments like Carpal tunnel syndrome (a condition that causes numbness and tingling in the hand and arm) due to excessive time spent with gaming accessories. Besides, it may affect eyesight, cause anxiety, headache, and other health problems. According to some Psychologists, the violence that most of these games contain carries bad effects. The addicted players especially teenagers are likely to have belligerent thoughts and emotions. They further say, playing violent video games may affect the psychological faculties of a person adversely. The recently reported murder case in Delhi, wherein a 19yr old boy killed his family members is one of the egregious examples. Later, it was declared that boy was addicted to a videogame- Pub-G, which exposes a person to the virtual battlefield to finish virtual enemies. Keeping all these snags into view WHO has declared gaming addiction as mental health disorder as a step to alert people about imminent problems of videogame obsession.

The immoderate playing of video games and increasing propensity of our wards, students, and others towards it is worrying. Before this growing addiction would engross our youngsters completely, preventive measures need to be taken promptly. And the role of parents here is vital. Parents need to take care of their wards and educate them about the adverse effect of Game addiction and the importance of utilizing time efficiently. Also, they need to keep track of a child’s activity to have regulated the use of mobile phones and other devices. School managements especially teachers need to do their bit in creating awareness about the hazardous impact of video games. The addicts need to accept responsibility; they must concede that the problem does not lie within the game, but with them. They must search for something else to do to beat addiction and rather than living in virtual world, it would be far better to live in real world by connecting to family, chums, and nature around. Furthermore, the simplest solution to this issue, which is possible only through Government, is to ban such games for the larger good.

WRITER – ZEESHAN RASOOL KHAN scribes on diverse issues and can be mailed at mohdzeeshan605@gmail.com

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