Daijiworld Media Network - Mangaluru (DV)
Mangaluru, Apr 5: The death of a 12-year-old boy Mohammed Akif in KC Road under the limits of Ullal is a heart-wrenching incident. Reportedly, the addiction to online video game resulted in a scuffle and led to the death of the 12-year-old boy. The negative impact of online games has resulted in corrupting young minds.
According to police, the boy who lost his life and the boy who is been apprehended on the charges of murder were playing PUBG. Tiff over winning the game has ended in the death of one of the boys. Though the Government of India had banned PUBG since September 2, 2020, according to experts the game is still easily accessible to the players in India who access the game illegally without using any VPN service. The research report states that games like PUBG encourage criminal mentality, suicides, and negative mindset in the youths.
It may be recalled that the former ISRO chairman stated that PUBG does more harm than good. It exposes children to the world of crime and war. It does not enhance the skill or intellectual capability of players.
Cybersecurity expert and professor at Sahyadri College, Dr Ananth Prabhu, speaking to Daijiworld said that keeping children away from such video games is not only the job of the government, but also of the parents, teachers, and society.
"Banning is not only an ultimate solution. There are several methods to circumvent access to such kind of games and the current generation is aware of it. Video games have normalised crimes. For example, opening fire from guns or dropping bombs. In some of the car racing games, you get points when you ram your car into another vehicle. By playing such games, we are repeatedly training the subconscious mind and normalising such situations. Due to these games, the tolerance level of children has come down and they are unable to control their anger or have patience," he added.
"Video games are making the current generation junkies. They are becoming introvert. At present children are not ready to do hard work as parents fulfil all the demands. Playing video games releases the feel-good neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain which causes the addiction. WHO has classified that drugs and video games have become social evils," Ananth Prabhu said.
"Banning is not the solution and the youth who are addicted to these games should be counselled. Parents play a major role in this," he added.
"To use the internet one should read the IT Act. One should browse the net responsibly or else we might end up committing so many crimes," he maintained.
Parents should activate parental user control on phones. The parents should monitor the phones and if they notice behavioural changes in their children, parents should immediately visit the counsellor and bring it to the notice of teachers. The peer group should be very able to handle this as well.
Online classes bane or boon?
As the global pandemic situation is looming, online education has become a new trend as it reduces the chances of getting exposed to the virus. Due to online education, children are getting exposed to mobile phones and to the internet. But, parents fear technology is being misused. Though pandemic connected the world virtually, the adverse effect is haunting mankind.
Dr KT Shwetha, director of Anirvedha Foundation, Resource Center for Psychological Wellbeing said, "Gaming can be a source of behavioural addiction. The brain reward cycle that activates in the brain during gaming is the same, one would expect during other times like gambling or drugs. These repetitive cycles make it harder to stop the behaviour. Such behaviour can continue at the cost of physical, professional, social and emotional neglect. Behavioural addictions such as gaming can lead to psychological issues such as losing out on interpersonal relationships, losing interest in other hobbies or interests, investing a lot of time and resources on the addiction, loss of sleep, appetite can also occur," she said.
Nowadays, parents are displaying lethargic behaviour when it comes to parenting. They are deviating from the responsibility of being parents. We find parents consoling their children by giving them mobile phones. Gradually, the child becomes dependent on the mobile phone and loses touch with reality. They learn to live in a virtual world instead of reality, opines Dr Lakshmish Bhat, a researcher in social psychology.