Fortnite and PUBG have legions of fans, mostly the young who spend hours glued to their smartphones, playing the games. But there’s a thin line between enjoying online games and having an addiction. And an increasing number of parents are worried that their children may be facing gaming addiction. WHO has already categorised Gaming Addiction as a mental health disorder, which could be as addictive as cocaine. For all the concerned parents, here’s what they should know about their children and online gaming. This may come as a surprise but there could be some benefits of playing Fortnite and PUBG, but with some important caveats. Dr Parul Tank, Consultant Psychiatrist, Fortis Hospital, Mulund lays down the positive impact of Gaming.
- Improvement in cognitive functions- Playing games with multiple segments help improve your cognitive functions. Gaming requires various mental and physical processes to function simultaneously which is a great exercise.
- Improvement in hand and eye coordination- A great way to exercise your eyes and head are by playing games. It also improves the sharpness of various sensory organs.
- Improvement of quick-thinking skills and accuracy- We cannot deny that online gaming does require quick-thinking skills that can be an excellent exercise for your brain and help make you sharper.
- Improvement in problem-solving abilities- Online gaming helps you improve your problem-solving skills giving your brain a great workout.
- Decreases chances of Anxiety attacks- Gaming is known to decrease chances of anxiety attacks as it is known to calm your anxiety and behaviour.
Dr Parul further explains that the positive effects of gaming are subjected to the games that you play. Games that have sexually explicit and violent content tend to have more negative than positive effects.
Is Gaming Addition Really a Mental Health issue?
Maybe not, with a hope that this phase will pass, we usually brush it under the carpet. Excessive gaming, like any other activity, has its impact. However, if you feel that your love for online games is turning into addictions here are a few signs to watch out for as suggested by Dr Parul Tank, Consultant Psychiatrist, Fortis Hospital, Mulund
Signs of Addiction-
- Thinking fanatically about playing the game when doing other tasks
Being deceitful about the amount of time spent gaming
- Spending more and more time to get the same levels of enjoyment from gaming
- Neglecting responsibilities and obligations to work, family, health, and finances over compulsive gaming.
- After feeling shame or humiliation about time spent gaming, the player may become secretive about the activity
- Spending a lot of money on computer upgrades and gaming consoles
In a shocking recent incident, a fitness trainer from Jammu ended up in the hospital after losing his “Mental Balance” while playing PUBG, an online battle game. It is essential to balance your mental and physical wellbeing, and not get addicted to gaming.