Online games may turn kids anti-social

Online games help make kids sharper and mentally more active. They gain mind hand coordination along with other skills like sense of competition, multitasking and problem solving skills with speed. But there is an ugly side to it. The advent of new technologies in the online gaming industry has brought upon more than a few repercussions. It damages their physical and mental health in numerous ways. Kids also become an easy target of cyber harassment and isolate themselves from the reality.

Games like Pokemon, ludo, candy crush and the most recent PubG took no time to became a rage. Experts are of the view that addiction of virtual games also leads to obesity, insomnia, headache, postural or muscular disorders like carpel tunnel syndrome. It also affects these kids mentally and induces aggression, anxiety, poor academic performance and anti-social behaviour.

“Online games are a type of escapism from reality. A person may lack interest in his/her surroundings. It can affect their sleep, cause stress and anxiety. When the “addiction” creeps in; it can lead to social withdrawal, loneliness, depression, or even irritation and trouble focusing on less restorative work,” says Sapna Bhutani, co-founder, Mystery Rooms, that offers a real life escape game experience.

She added, “I believe a person should not be a slave of technology. One must do everything in moderation or it is bound to harm you in one or the other way. Most of the children follow their peers and get addicted to these games just to keep up with their social circle. People spend hours and hours on these games without realising that in the lieu of these games they are ignoring the quality time that they can spend with their family and friends doing fruitful activities.”

Like any other compulsive disorder, getting addicted to these games can have many negative consequences. Games that involve violence/anti-social elements must not be introduced at first. Games like Blue whale lead to cyber bullying or cyber harassment that caused irreparable damage to a person psyche. Addiction to violent games like PubG can make a person conducive to an undeviating lifestyle and might invigorate them to fall back into the clutches of augmented reality, she said.

On the other hand, real life games promote social interaction in a more challenging and real scenario. It allows people to interact physically with the technology where they exercise their body and brain both at the same time. It boosts the cognitive processes, fosters effective communication, reduces stress and anxiety, encourages physical activity and falls under the bracket of active hence effective learning, added Bhutani.