Games

Booming online gaming taking a toll on physical, mental well-being: Report

Children find an instant connection with strangers when they play the online games which leave
them extremely vulnerable to cyberbullying, harassment, and violence.

Even as the COVID-19 induced lockdown has forced people to stay at home, the online gaming
ecosystem has seen a massive growth. In India, games like PUBG Mobile and Call of Duty Mobile
have seen an exponential growth and have made their presence felt among the youth. However, as
per a new study, online gaming has also taken a big toll on their physical and mental health.

As per NortonLifeLock Inc’s India Digital Wellness Report, 87 per cent of respondents said that online
gaming has had an effect on their physical and mental well-being. Nearly 76% of respondents said
that addiction to action games has impacted their behaviour and this has also led to depression and
increase in anxiety levels. Not only this, about 70% of respondents also said that children find an
instant connection with strangers when they play the online games which leave them extremely
vulnerable to cyberbullying, harassment, and violence.

“People could be drawn to online gaming for entertainment, but data shows that it is not all about
fun and games. The virtual playing field comes with risks such as identity theft, cyber bullying,
phishing, and credit card theft, to name a few,” said Ritesh Chopra, Director, NortonLifeLock, India.

“It is interesting to note that children follow the same patterns as their parents when it comes to
online gaming. Therefore, it becomes extremely important for parents as well as children to be
educated about the threats that can compromise their safety and privacy in this complex digital
world. ‘Play well and stay safe’ seem to be the new mantra in these challenging times,” he further
added.

The study also found out that cities like Delhi, Lucknow, Chandigarh, Bhubaneswar lead the way
when it comes to online gaming audience and that, a majority of the people prefer being hooked
online rather than take part in other social engagements.

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