I am totally of the opinion that videos games should be banned for children, especially the ones that contain violence and sexual content. I have seen many parents who are okay with their children playing some first-person shooting games. It is not the case that next day the children will go out and shoot somebody in real, but this constant involvement in the game affects their behaviour.
After a while, the effect starts showing on the child’s behaviour, as children become more aggressive, react immediately to small issues and begin throwing tantrums if they are denied anything. The video games give them some power that they tend to enjoy and cannot tolerate the real world where they realise that some controls are not in their hands. The parents must understand this long-term problem and try to keep their children away from video games.
Brain-teasing games are good
Video games are irresistible for children and inevitable for parents. One cannot simply keep their children away from video games or put any restrictions.
The most talked about topics among teenagers are games and if your child is unable to share his views, he or she feels left out and it can be mentally disturbing for them.
Of course this is not a solution, but I feel rather than just implying a blanket ban on video games, one should encourage children to play more brain-teasing games. If they want action, better convince them to play Fifa, F1 and NBA kind of games, which might encourage them to go out and try these games physically on ground.
Allow physical, digital games
We have a simple rule at home for my teenage son. If he has done something worthwhile during the day, we let him have an hour of playing video games. We would like to see him go out and play physical games and also just lie on the sofa and play online games. I do not mind interactive or intellectual games where he is utilising his mind. However, I am strictly against violent and nonsensical games which are just a waste of time.
Maintain work and play balance
I am a video game addict myself, so it becomes really difficult for me to impose rules on my children. Still, we tried and have come to a conclusion. We monitor the hours we spend playing games and try and reduce it gradually. For instance, if we have spent two hours playing online games, then we ensure to use the next two hours to do something productive or at least play an outdoor sport. This way, we try and bring a balance.
Gaming addiction a danger signal
It is true that the young generation is hooked on to games on phones, in gaming zones or on their personal players. It is an irony that Indian parents handover a mobile phone to even 10-month-old children, because the child gets busy with that and parents get time to complete their work. However, doctors and psychologists have underlined the dangers involved in gaming obsession and children becoming more aggressive and unaware of the outside world. This is a danger signal to one and all to control their children as well as themselves from getting addicted to gaming.
Maya Hemant Bhatkar
Anything in excess is harmful
Gaming options are considered as forms of fantasies by our mind, unknowingly telling us to move more and more towards it. We now prefer getting into our phones, instead of taking cognisance of other’s presence (be it friends, relatives or unknown public) in our surroundings. A prominent fact then comes to the front: anything in excess can be dangerous or harmful.
With gaming and digital media becoming a type of addiction, it is time to overcome this quandary. What I believe is that we need to learn and adopt to controlled usage of the digital platforms being applicable to all age groups, including kids, teenagers and even elders.
Parents need to take control
Indeed rules should be there to control the gaming scenario. If things continue like this, a day will come when kids will be addicted to gaming, like drugs. Mainly, there are limitations to setting rule and the implementation and execution of these rules will completely depend on the parental control.
In fact, parents should first take control by interfering in the child’s regular habits. By interfering in their regular habits and directing them to physical exercise, outdoor games and other extracurricular activities, it may be possible to divert them from overusing digital medium. There needs to be a balance in the virtual and real lives of humans. Owing to over usage, one cannot avoid the loss of intelligence and intellectual trait of human being in the long run.
Avoid early use of mobiles phones
With Internet and smartphone penetration, children are seen glued to these devices for a very long time. The world health organisation (WHO) identified gaming disorder as a type of addiction and has been stressed on generating more awareness amongst parents to keep their children away from such addictions.
Also, early introduction to smartphones must also be avoided, although it is happening in all households. Parents should ensure that children are not glued to any electronic device and should encourage them to follow some sports. Parents too should spend more time with their children and not use electronic gadgets when at home.
Dr SD Patil
Addiction affects the personality
Children addicted to video games show less self confidence and create a virtual image which is different from their original. In trying to meet the demands of the heavy social media circle, depression and other psychological illnesses step in.
Addiction to these games reduces the true prospect of the individual. It may also increase peer pressure, reduce family value and social interaction.
Lifestyle diseases today are hitting the tip of the iceberg. They are not only affecting the adult age group, major impact has been seen on children, especially in their early adolescent and teenage. Spending long hours on social media and digital gaming are the leading causes seen even in the Indian population.
Commonly encountered by us doctors are lack of cognition, deficit in social skills in reality, expectation of instant gratification and depression.
Dr Anood Faqih