Indore (Madhya Pradeh): “It is better late than never!” This was the feeling of city psychiatrists, paediatricians and parents over the announcement made by state home minister Narottam Mishra to bring an ‘Online Gaming Act’ to regulate online gaming for children.
Experts also praised the decision and called it a welcome move by saying that every fifth teenager is suffering from online gaming addiction and the lockdown due to Covid-19 spread has added to the woes.
Pro vice-chancellor of Malwanchal University and professor of Psychiatry Dr Ramghulam Razdan said, “Every fifth teenager is suffering from online gaming addiction or is addicted to mobile phones. It has become a serious issue and intensive steps must be taken to control the menace as it not only affects patients’ lives, but also the future of the country.” He added that the number of children approaching him with such disorders had increased from 4-5 a month to 10-15.
‘No relevance in real world’
‘Cases have increased after lockdown and it’s affecting the children both mentally and physically. It’s affecting their intelligence growth and many children and teens have difficulty separating the consequences or actions of video games from reality. The gaming character they represent has no relevance in the real world. So, in the real world, social skills may become even worse, which can lead to anxiety and depression’ -Dr Ramghulam Razdan, pro vice-chancellor of Malwanchal University and professor of Psychiatry
‘Parents give phones to children for free time’
‘Parents must practise de-addiction first as most parents are indulgent towards their children in the matter of mobile phones. Many parents even give phones to their kids of age 3-4 years to get ‘free time’ or make them obey commands, such as having their food. Parents must avoid gifting phones to their children or must fix a specific time when they can use the gadget. The World Health Organization has also termed online gaming addiction as a disorder and, if the government is bringing some piece of legislation, it’s a great move as it has become the need of the hour. Parents must practice mobile detoxification for two hours before sleeping and one hour after waking up' — Psychiatrist Dr Rahul Mathur.
‘Psycho-socially extorting kids’
‘Online gaming addiction is affecting children socially as they feel detached from society, psycho-socially as losing they lose their emotional attachment and physically as it affects their health. Parents must start increasing their screen-off time as children mirror them’ — Dr Hemant Jain, HoD, Paediatrics.
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