With increased development in device and gaming technology, the number of people using online platforms for gaming has increased exponentially in last ten years. Data suggests that more than 200 million people play online games every year. During current scenario of lockdown most of us are self quarantined at home which has also contributed to expansion of online gamers. The rapid increase of online gamers, there has been a growing concern about the excessive use of online gaming platforms and it’s consequences on our mental wellness.
The most common online gaming genre in the recent times is Multiplayer Online Playing Games (MOPGs).
Consequences or problematic outcomes of these games:
- Low self-esteem,
- Depressive symptoms,
- Aggression issues,
- Excessive competition,
- Preoccupation about game,
- Problematic gaming behaviour,
- Need for approval or social desirability,
- Increased play time,
- Disturbed routine and sleeping schedule,
- Poor general health,
- Frequent headaches,
- Poor eyesight,
- Disputes with team-mates and opponents,
- Abusive language,
- Escapism (i.e. avoiding of real-life problems),
- Tantrums and demand for better devices,
- Adopting an in-game persona,
- Personalisation of character,
- Strained parent-child relationship,
- Withdrawal like symptoms
Gaming addiction (behavioural disorder) is included in Diagnostic and statistical manual in its latest edition (DSM-5).
Following are some suggestive measures to get rid of gaming addiction:
- Realise it is affecting you.
- Set time limits and stick to it.
- Take time off the gadgets.
- Involve yourself in other routine activities.
- Consult for professional help.
Online gaming and mental health