PUBG addiction in Guwahati; parents worried, counsellors send out word of caution

PUBG addiction in Guwahati; parents worried, counsellors send out word of caution

Srijit Banerjee | March 30, 2019 16:09 hrs

GUWAHATI: Players Unknown Battleground, popularly known as PUBG, has become a talking point in the country - and for all the wrong reasons. After the game was banned in a few cities in the country by the concerned authorities, it has finally been restricted to limited play hours with warnings for the minors (Now lifted as per latest reports).

The Facebook page of the game has around 5.1 million followers. Around 1.35 million followers are on twitter and around 3 million followers worldwide. The game often hosts online competition giving away attractive prizes amounting to crores of rupees which often draws the attention many gaming bugs. 

Young boys and kids have been playing the game for long and now, a health reminder pops for players under the age of 18 if the playtime exceeds 6 hours, restricting players from playing further. Soon, PUBG mobile players started sharing screenshots of the health reminder which says, “You’ve played the game for 6 hours today. Please come back at 2019-03-23 05:30:00.” In a tweet, PUBG Mobile India said, “We’re aware of the “Healthy Gaming System” issue that many of you are currently facing and we sincerely apologize for the inconvenience this has caused to you! Our development team is working to resolve the issue as soon as possible.”
 Now, with all these developments, G Plus talked to some students and parents of Guwahati to get their point of view on the issue. Rita Sarma, who is the mother of a class 9 student, said that the game has been distracting her son, especially during study hours. She said, “My son has been addicted to these games for months now. He is pinned on to his mobile phone for hours and now his final exams are near and he is busy with the game.” I am worried what he will do in his finals, he doesn’t even listen to me”.

Anjali Roy, who’s son is in degree second year, said that her son has been addicted to mobile games for long and the addiction to PUBG has made it worse. She said, “My son has been addicted to mobile games for long and his latest is now PUBG. He plays the game for hours now with his friends online. We tell him to stop but he keeps on playing.” When informed about the playtime restriction in the game, both the parents said that the restriction is not the solution. The addiction to the game is more concerning than playtime restriction. If they can control the playtime by themselves then there is no need for a playtime restriction.

Aranyak Sarma, the class 9 student of Reeta Sarma, said that he has been playing the game for long and like playing it during his free time. He said, “I know the game is doing the news for the wrong reasons but restricting the game to 6 hours is also something that we won’t like because we play the game often to entertain ourselves during free time and we hope the restriction is lifted later on.” 

Banashree Roy’s son Arko said, “It is good that play time has been restricted to 6 hours which will stop students who have their exams from playing for hours. But what about people who are free and want to play the game? I know that addiction to anything is not good, but most us play to relax and for fun. I hope the restriction is removed once the exam season is up.” 

Animesh Agarwal, who is a professional gamer and represented India on PUBG Mobile Star Challenge Asia finals in Thailand, welcomed the move of restricting the game to 6 hours for under aged people and said that people should play the game responsibly. Many players have made a professional career out of the game and are earning more than regular office goers. He also said that many countries in the world have professional gamers who have turned it into their profession and in India the stereotype of labelling the game as bad should change. 

 Speaking to G Plus, Loya Agarwala, one of the leading counsellors and personality development consultant in the city said, “The game or any other game is highly addictive as it releases a hormone which is neuro transmitter and which, after a certain level, keeps on moving up boosting the hormone more. This makes people play more and spend more time on the game.” 

Playing the game for long affects the physiology of a child and is responsible for numbing the brain reducing the capability of the brain by 60 percent. Young children who are exposed to such violent games at a tender age are very vulnerable as they have higher chances of developing a violent attitude due to the constant exposure to such games.

Agarwala also said that peer pressure often makes a child to indulge more because the multiple player option allows friends often to play together and that’s how a child gets more addicted to the game.

When asked whether the time restriction will provide any help, Agarwala said, “If a child plays the game for more than an hour the development of the brain gets affected and even restricting it for six hours will not provide great help.” She also said that parents should supervise the amount of time their children spend on the game.
Amidst all the chaos it remains to be seen how things go in future both for the gaming company and gamers. And most importantly, how will it affect the kids and their psyche. Is the game really bad and influencing kids negatively? Well, all we can say for now is that everything needs to be monitored and individuals should view matters with a sense of responsibility.

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