• LAWGIC STRATUM

Effects of Online Gaming on Financial and Mental Health

Updated: Jan 6

Author: Aishwarya S




INTRODUCTION:


Many people describe the internet as a “world in pocket-size”. Although we all know not everyone indeed uses it in the right way. Internet is flooded with information, a person from a remote village can know about rocket science on the other hand kids also get information which they should not know at their age. The Internet teaches us kindness; it recognizes people who do good things whereas it also preaches violence. So, it’s in the hands of people who use it, you can use it efficiently and get information to learn new aspects or you can use it for lame purposes get unrelated information as a result. When we talk about the internet, we can’t skip on the entertainment factor of it many people use the internet just for entertainment. Online gaming is the main source of entertainment apart from social media.


ONLINE GAMING:


When we talk about online gaming at first we all will remember computer games which we played in our childhood from ‘road rash’ to ‘vice city’, there were no risk factors involved in it. Let's concentrate on the games which this generation of kids are fond of, it’s highly risky and these games have an addictive factor to them. From “blue whale” to “PUBG” not only kids even grown-up adults are getting addicted which is highly dangerous. A teenager from Punjab spent sixteen lakhs from his parent’s bank account for upgrading in PUBG. A fitness trainer from Jammu was admitted to a hospital after PUBG addiction made him partially lose his mental balance. Yes, you read it right, it is the level of addiction that today’s game induces on the people.[1]

So basically, the ill effects of online gaming are of two aspects where one is affecting the mental and physical health and the other is causing a drastic effect on financial health.


EFFECTS ON MENTAL AND PHYSICAL HEALTH:


When a person is playing online games continuously over some time it’s obvious that it will take a toll on his mental health. Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR) stated that the games children play today have more destroying factors like killing the enemies. These games are full of misogyny, hate, deceit, and vengeance and it may negatively impact their brain.[2]


According to Norton LifeLock Inc’s India Digital Wellness Report, 87% of respondents believe that online gaming affects their physical and mental well-being. Nearly 76% of respondents believe that addiction to action games has led to a change in their behavior and can raise depression and anxiety levels. About 70% of respondents feel that children connecting with strangers while playing games online can make them vulnerable to cyberbullying, harassment, and violence. Thechildren who play violent online games will withdraw themselves from their peers and the sudden burst of anger and anxiety are the symptoms of the impact of it.[3] Its continuous effect leads to gaming disorder. The World Health Organization categorized“gaming disorder” as a disease.


As per the health agency, there are five factors to conclude that they are suffering from gaming disorder.

1) Gaming is their all-time job.

2) No time control over gaming

3) Addicted to the game.

4) Loss of interest in all the other things

5) Depression and anxiety

When you find these symptoms in a person who is persistently playing online games and it’s safe to take them to a therapist without any delay.


EFFECTS ON FINANCIAL HEALTH:


As seen earlier some people spend lakhs on online games. Recently, a person spent all his savings and also took a loan which he used for online rummy. Now losing all his money, he has become bankrupt and that he got from it is loads of loan. Some celebrities act in the advertisements of these online game companies, where they always show it as an entertainment factor and add up that they can earn money out of it. Nobody ever stated the risk factor behind it; the games are purely based on luck basis. You can earn if luck favors you or you will lose the money you invested. Most of the time, luck is also decided by the game developers themselves. The huge risk of losing the money is not at all expressed in any advertisements they publish. As the IPL was the talk of the town recently, let’s take the example of “Dream11” where you have to guess which team is winning and should bet on the specified team, if you win you will gain the money or if you lose you will also lose the money you paid. This methodology is in no way different from gambling, the process is still the same. The same applies to “Rummy Circle” – where many people lost their money and a few cases of suicide have also been occurred because of it. Almost a huge loss from people's pocket and still celebrities accepting to advertise these ads just to fill their pockets is no way justifying. It’s time to wake up from these illusions of earning money from such online games, avoid being prey to such fraudulent online gaming applications.


CONCLUSION:


There are many ill effects other than the two mentioned above such as cyberbullying, phishing, inventory theft, etc.[4] The market is highly profitable and making tons of money during this pandemic time as people are staying inside the house. Online gaming apps use people’s time to increase their profits and they also use people’s desire to earn money in the easiest way possible which makes them prey to their business. Considering people’s innocence of not analyzing the risk factors that are indirectly stated in the terms & conditions column, the risk factors should be highlighted in the advertisements itself and the people should also be a little aware of these scams by not falling for it.


References:

[1]PUBG ban in India: How the ban may impact the mental health of gaming addicts, Times of India, https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/health-fitness/de-stress/pubg-ban-in-india-how-the-ban-may-impact-the-mental-health-of-gaming-addicts/articleshow/77911289.cms [2]Government issues advisory on negative impact of video and online games, The Hindu, https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/govt-issues-advisory-on-negative-impact-of-video-and-online-games/article26178914.ece [3]Online gaming is booming but it can take a toll on physical, mental well-being, HT Tech, https://tech.hindustantimes.com/gaming/news/online-gaming-is-booming-but-it-can-take-a-toll-on-physical-mental-well-being-report-71591681589260.html [4]Top 5 threats for online gamers, Kaspersky daily, https://www.kaspersky.com/blog/online-gamer-threats/4474/

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