With the advent of games like PUBG, Battleroyals and many others, online gaming addiction has been increased by manifolds. People, mostly children, are found glued to their phones and tablets most of the time. And if you confront them about being in front of the screens for the better part of their day, they would probably cut you short by saying that they are in a middle of an intense gaming session, and you should disturb them. However, keeping the issues faced by most parents in mind, the government has issued a plethora of advisories on safe online gaming.
The Ministry of Education has issued an advisory to parents and teachers on the adverse effects of online gaming. The report states that the dependency on phones or tablets has increased due to the lockdown. The children were confined to their phones because they could not step out due to the coronavirus. The advisory by the government noted that playing online games can lead to a serious gaming addiction which has been considered as a “gaming disorder”. The government has also pulled up the gaming companies for compelling the children to make in-app purchases to get to different gaming levels.
“To avoid in-app purchases; OTP based payment methods may be adopted as per RBI’s guidelines. Avoid credit/debit cards registration on apps for subscriptions. Place an upper limit on expenditure per transaction. Help your child understand that some features in online games are used to encourage more play and spending. Talk to them about gambling, what it is and its consequences both online and in the physical world,” the advisory adds.
The government has asked the parents to install antivirus and spyware programs and configure web browsers securely using firewall. Activate parental controls and safety features on the device or in the app or browser as it helps restrict access to certain content and limit spending on in-game purchases.
The advisory has encouraged parents not to respond to bullying and keep a record of the harassing messages and report the issue to the company. The parents have been advised to play alongside their children to get a better sense of how they are handling their personal information and who they are communicating with. The parents have also been asked to keep an eye on their children and monitor if they are engaging in online gambling.