Since outdoor activities have been restricted due to the COVID-19 lockdown, video games have now become a time-killing for youngsters in Pakistan. As a result, the use of online gaming has increased exponentially.
During this COVID-19 pandemic, The 2017 mobile action game “Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds”, commonly known as “PUBG”, has undoubtedly become the most popular game among youngsters not only in Pakistani but across the world. However, excessive gaming can have detrimental consequences on an individual’s mental health. This is exactly what a youngster in Karachi has just gone through.
After excessively playing PUBG, the Karachi teenager started to show some serious symptoms of mental health issues. The news comes amid the coronavirus pandemic when half of the world has been locked inside their homes. There is also a possibility that the teenager might be suffering from Gaming Disorder.
The impact of ‘Gaming disorder’ on mental health
Gaming disorder has been identified and added in the section on substance use and addictive behaviors of the World Health Organization officially. It defines gaming addiction as irrepressible and excessive use of video games.
The most addictive are multi-player online role-playing games (MMORPGs) and multi-user domain games (MUDs).
Research has also shown that excessive use of video games could increase mental issues in children and even adults. This is because it defies the natural balance in one’s life and also limits them from making conscious decisions of what is wrong or right.
For example, a boy in India beheaded his father for stopping him from playing PUBG. According to Indian media reports, a 21-years-old boy named Raghuveer Kambhur, a student of a polytechnic institute was severely addicted to PUBG. Upon failing thrice in his final exams, Raghuveer’s father restricted him from playing the game as the insane obsession with PUBG was ruining his studies. The young PUBG addict was than arrested by the police after he viciously murdered his father.
Role of parents on limiting their child’s online activities
As the lockdown in Pakistan is extended due to COVID-19, parents should monitor their children’s online activities. Moreover, parents should also realize that video gaming addiction is as serious as other addictions.
Gaming addiction can hurt mental health. If children do shows signs of video gaming addiction or deteriorating mental health, parents should counsel them.
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