Lockdown period shows a major increase in the number of video game players. However, it also shows an addiction lurking around.
Samrala: Shahi Pool Club is a popular gaming station available in the city which offers PlayStation games to be played from morning to evening. Mr. Sanjeev Shahi, owner of the place says that, “8-10 people come and play regularly for 1-2 hours and some of them for 4 hours continuously. The audience comprises of school students, college goers and IELTS applicants with age ranging from 15-22 years old.”
One of their regular customers, Rahul, who is a student at the local school says he likes playing video games rather than studying as the latter doesn’t interest him much. He has developed a habit of playing them on his phone as well at home. He can play them for hours and hours, as much as 6 hours a day in total. He says that his parents often scold him because of his inclination towards games but he wants to play more and more.
WHO announced Gaming Disorder as a mental illness back in September 2018 in its ICD 11 classification of diseases programme based on evidence from researched studies, accounts and from certain geographical locations. According to the data studied by them 0.003 to 1% of the population has been diagnosed with gaming addiction.
Dr. Prerna Kohli (M.Phil., Ph.D.) who is a Clinical Psychologist quotes, “Anyone addicted to video games can develop sleeping disorders due to playing games at odd hours, be a target of obesity as they won’t be exercising a lot as well as have an underlying cause of depression that could make them extremely lethargic in doing day to day activities. It has also been found that children’s level of aggression are impacted by the violent video games which can make them less patent and more aggressive.” She further writes about the same in her article.
There isn’t a single De-Addiction Centre available in the area where the parents could talk or consult an expert who specializes in this department of Video Game Addiction. However the first step is to be taken by the parents only, to initiate the conversation with their child and discuss the consequences of prioritizing video games over outside physical activities and studies.