The Covid19 pandemic has brought a lot of massive changes in our lives. Things have shifted from offline to online modes and children have basically found it difficult to adopt in this mode especially the teenagers. Usage of online games has increased massively especially among the youth. They are finding it very difficult to maintain the balance between personal life and work life. It is seen during this pandemic situation that students are continuously being engaging themselves in playing online games rather than focusing on their academics which afterwards, is hampering their performances and leading to serious problems.
The World Health Organization included gaming disorder in the 11th revision of its International Classification of Diseases (ICD).The American Psychiatric Association (APA), while stating there is insufficient evidence for the inclusion of Internet gaming disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in 2013, considered it worthy of further study. Especially during the Covid19, the addiction to online games have increased significantly. Children are facing various health and mental problems and are unable to focus in online classes also. It is also seen that children play online games keeping apart their classes and studies. This is a major issue and it should be taken into consideration as soon as possible. Among the youth, at least 50-60% population have online game installed in their mobile devices according to a latest survey. This is a serious issue to be concerned.
Some of the major issues which are faced by youth in online gaming are:-
- Dopamine addiction
- Reduction in Motivation
- Alexithymia and emotional suppression
- Repetitive stress injuries and other health risks
- Poor mental health
- Relationship issues
- Social disconnection
- Exposure to toxic gaming environments
- Poor academic or professional performance
- Escapism and getting stuck in life.
Like any other major serious issue, online game addiction can have several negative consequences. Though most of the symptoms listed above have short-term effects, they can lead to more severe long-term repercussions if not addressed properly. For example, someone addicted to online gaming will often avoid sleeping or eating proper meals in order to continue gaming. While the short-term effects of this may include hunger and fatigue, it could eventually lead to a sleeping disorder or diet-related health issues. Similarly, those who isolate themselves from others in order to play these games may miss out on family events, outings with friends, or other events in the short-term. If this continues to be a pattern for a longer period of time, however, addicts might find themselves without any friends at all which is majorly seen in these current times.
Other long-term effects of online game addiction to consider are the financial, academic and occupational consequences involved. Video games and video game equipment can be very expensive, especially when factoring in recurring costs such as the high-speed Internet connection required for online multiplayer games. These games can also be very time-consuming, leaving addicted gamers with less time to focus on their education or career.
Of course this is a very major problem to be concerned but this is not the end. If we maintain a perfect life balance between work life and personal life, there is a solution available. Parents also has a major role to play in this. They need to act as an advisor and as a motivator during these times for the betterment of their children. There are certain crucial points to be kept into consideration while resolving this:-
- Thinking about gaming all or a lot of the time
- Feeling bad when you can’t play
- Needing to spend more and more time playing to feel good
- Not being able to quit or even play less
- Not wanting to do other things that you used to like
- Having problems at work, school, or home because of your gaming
- Playing despite of health problems
- Lying to people close to you about how much time you spend playing
- Using gaming to ease bad moods and feelings.
To keep the amount of time spent gaming under control, these below mentioned points would be important:
- Set time limits for play and stick to them.
- Avoiding playing online games especially during class hours.
- Indulge yourselves in other activities every day, including exercise. This will lower the health risks of sitting and playing for long stretches of time.
No one knows whether certain kinds of games are more likely leading to problem gaming. For the time being, make sure that a particular child is only playing games rated for their age with a fixed time limit.