Online games are taking the world by storm, especially ‘Battle Royale’ games such as PUBG and Fortnite.These games have introduced a unique mechanic,when a match is started,100 online players are pit against each other,the last player standing claims victory.
While this concept might be attracting,it is having a major adverse effect on people that tend to play these games.Multiple sources have confirmed that these games are addicting,they allow players to interact with other people around the globe and thus,they do not feel the need to engage in other activities.
This seriously effects mental and physical health,in some cases,children often do not eat just so they can continue playing,they become obsessed with their virtual characters in the game.As new items and ‘skins’(or costumes) are added to the game on a regular basis,children feel the need to purchase these in-game items constantly so they can ‘stand out’,this also increases their reputation amongst their friends.
The in-game items require real money to be purchased and some children take extreme measures to buy them,for instance,a boy from Brookline secretly used his father’s credit cards to make thousands of dollars of in-game purchases.
These games also negatively affect children’s educational performance,they become less interested in going to school or taking out their books to study,their grades drop considerably and they do not seem to care about it.
Children who are highly addicted to these games show aggressive and repulsive behaviour when they are told to turn off the game.Moreover,as they are continuously glued to their screens,they have no idea about what is happening around them and they also have no clue about how much time has been wasted.They lack normal human development,show reduced social interaction,communication,and capacity to maintain healthy relationships with people around them.
They lose interest in physical activities such as sports,they start neglecting their ‘real’ friends and relatives just so they can contribute more time towards their game.
Parents have to take care of the problem as soon as they see their child engaging in these games,before it is too late.
The following steps can be taken;
1. They can try to divert the attention of their child by finding something healthy that will attract them more than video games,for example,they could spend some time with them by taking them on an outing etc.
2. They can turn off the internet or take away the computer or the system that the child is playing on
3. They can ‘bribe’ them by offering them increased pocket money or daily spending money
Countries such as China,India,Nepal and Iraq have banned these games because of the effects they are having on the youth and I think Pakistan should act accordingly for the betterment of our nation.