Gaming disorder increases during pandemic

What is the news?

The pandemic spurred an increase in the use of Internet devices has resulted in an increase in gaming addiction throughout India.

About the Online games and gaming addiction in India

According to the All India Gaming Federation, India’s online gaming industry is expected to be worth ₹15,500 crores by 2023.

A 2019 survey by the U.S.-based Limelight Networks found that India had the second-largest number of gamers after South Korea. In India, while time spent online is still not as high as in other countries, the survey found that almost a quarter of adult Indian gamers had missed work while playing games.

What are the impacts of gaming addiction?

Gaming addictions cause physical, social and emotional damage, impairing sleep, appetites, careers and social lives. The addiction can also cause insomnia, withdrawal from social contacts, academic failure, and extreme anger and irritability.

For these reasons only, the World Health Organization categorised gaming disorder as a mental health condition in 2018.

How India tries to limit online gaming?

In India, the legal focus has been on recent laws in the southern States seeking to ban online games such as rummy, poker or even fantasy sports which offer prize money or financial stakes. But, recently Kerala High Court quashed such a law in the State.

The Kerala High Court accepted the stance of Industry that games of skill should not trigger bans on gambling.

How China is regulating online games?

Recently, China limited gamers under 18 years to just three hours of online games per week. The limit is also during specified times. China made the industry responsible for enforcing the restriction.

Source:  This post is based on the article “Gaming disorder increases during pandemic” published in The Hindu on 4th October 2021.

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