Rise In Gaming Addiction Affecting Mental Health; Maharashtra Health Department Raises Alarm

Rise In Gaming Addiction Affecting Mental Health; Maharashtra Health Department Raises Alarm

Maharashtra will soon be signing a memorandum of understanding with the E-Gaming Federation, to create awareness about the pros and cons of this habit, affecting one’s daily life along with health

Swapnil MishraUpdated: Thursday, February 08, 2024, 12:19 PM IST
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Representative Image | Pixabay

Addiction has gone digital – with gaming addiction on the rise, causing health issues and affecting mental health, the public health department of Maharashtra will soon be signing a memorandum of understanding with the E-Gaming Federation, to create awareness about the pros and cons of this habit, affecting one’s daily life along with health. Maharashtra ranks second after Uttar Pradesh in the online gaming industry, with 14 per cent of overall internet usage in the country.

There are more than 70 crore digital users, of whom 61 per cent are always active, while 15 per cent of the usage is for Facebook.

No limit on playing online games

“There is no age limit or restrictions on playing online games and addiction to such games has increased over the years. Considering all the aspects, we have decided to create awareness with the help of the gaming federation.For now, on a pilot basis, it will be implemented in Nagpur and Dharashiv, and later, it will go pan-Maharashtra,” said a senior state government official. According to a health official, this would be the first such initiative to be undertaken by the public health department, for which a survey will be conducted across Maharashtra through a questionnaire. “We will conduct offline and online surveys of youths and office-goers in the 18 to 45 age group, the target segment of online gaming companies. For the survey, participants need to answer 10 to 15 questions and awareness campaigns will be organized through several modes of communication,” the official said.

Expert's analysis

Dr Sagar Mundada, a city-based psychiatrist, also emphasised that it was the need of the hour, “as almost everyone seems addicted to online gaming. These youths are the future of Maharashtra but online gaming has diverted their minds, affecting their thinking capability and disturbing their concentration on work. “It is a good initiative undertaken by the government to handle online gaming industries. Its effect on youths causes poor concentration, decreased attention span, easy irritability, outbursts of anger and in the long term, anxiety and depression on being deprived of gaming. It also causes insomnia and many suffer from neck and finger pain due to excessive usage,” he said.

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