How safe is Playing PUBG for your mental health?
PUBG: What makes it so popular and Loveable? Why we get involved in it?
In a study done for 4years, researchers found that adolescents/adults who play video games which involve high risk taking and violence are more likely to get engaged in violent activities and risky behaviour. They also exhibit a low score on anger management tests. PUBG is free of cost, easily accessible and doesn't require any initial skill to play which makes it suitable for every age group. The feature of voice chat in real time with companions makes it more interesting and user friendly. The players, especially the youth, are engrossed so much in gaming due to extra free time in this covid-19 pandemic. This platform provides fantastic updates plus a variety of in-game purchases which completely amuse the players and they end up sticking to the game every time. To purchase highly developed and magnificent gun skins and outfits in the game, the children spend hard earned money of their parents even without giving a single thought. Study suggests that this gaming addiction is mainly responsible for the increase in suicidal rates of adults/children when being stopped or inhibited by parents from playing the game. In addition to this, various road accidents are caused due to the carelessness of the people while being on road and engrossed in the game.
What are the Negative effects of playing Pubg in our life?
Various negatives of playing Pubg are mentioned below:-
- Gaming addiction- Pubg is an addictive game which makes people curious of getting rank 1 again and again. Gaming addiction is a WHO recognised health problem where a person has cravings to use the mobile/pc to play the game. Lack of gameplay leads to mood swings, anger outbursts and anxiety etc. It is a serious problem because it brings a negative impact on our daily life activities and inhibits us to focus on our work and studies which further makes us unproductive and a liability. Sometimes continuous playing turns ‘fatal’ and in some cases it leads to cardiac arrest due to sitting in the same posture for many hours.
- Disrupt Lifestyle - These games are so habit-forming that while playing we often lose the track of time and tend to compromise our sleep for the sake of playing more and more rounds of the game. The improper eating and sleeping patterns deteriorate our health and decrease our immunity plus affect our concentration and decision making ability which eventually impacts our overall health, making us prone to various lifestyle disorders and other health problems like obesity, dry eyes, neck problems, severe headaches etc.
- Affects Overall Personality- A person can develop lots of anger and frustrations inside in no time while playing games like Pubg. These games instantly raise adrenaline levels in our body (An emergency hormone used for ''fight or flight'') as this game involves violence and quest for surviving.
- Distort interpersonal Relationships- Pubg in itself is a world where you are all alone fighting and surviving to earn the title of #1 ‘winner winner chicken dinner’. We sometimes forget to even look at our friends and family and just concentrate on the game. We rarely talk to them, eat with them and have fun together. Playing pubg for limited time (1hr or so) with friends can be a good thing which gives us the opportunity to interact. It is important for you to remember that the real world is more superior and better than the online world and family must be your priority when it comes to giving time.
- Encourage violent Behaviour- These games are not only playing with our mind but also setting up a new normal for us where violent activities or acts are common and impressive. It is changing our mind set which is completely against the social norms. Games like PUBG trigger aggressive behaviour, thoughts and emotions which eventually encourage incidents of violence, self-harm, suicide etc. It would be irrelevant to say that only PUBG is responsible but it's the fact that it may encourage aggressive behaviour and can be one of the reasons behind anger problems of various PUBG users.
- Unfit for children/adolescents- PUBG is easily accessible and available which makes it easy for kids to download and play. ''This game allows you and your team members to gang up and harm (kill) other players, a dangerous behaviour they may take into the real world and even if 10% of the children actually get influenced by it, it is an alarming situation'' said Child psychologist Divya.
- Loss of studies/ Unproductivity- Continuous gaming and consuming their content on daily basis will surely affect your daily life activities and it may also bring a negative impact on your work life as continuous gaming affects our decision making abilities in real life situations and affects our concentration power due to which we don't find our work and studies interesting and have to bear loss/failure.
How to maintain a healthy lifestyle without stopping to play PUBG?
"PLAY YOUR GAME, THE HEALTHY WAY"
- Excess of everything is always harmful- It is very important for you to understand that as long as games don't affect your personal life and daily life activities, it is safe and appropriate to play but as soon as it does, it's time to bring some lifestyle changes. Anything in excess is harmful so always try to keep a balance between things.
- Set time periods- You should use apps like digital well-being (App available on play store) which checks your daily mobile usage and limits your mobile activities or you can set a time period for playing PUBG like 1hr in the evening etc.
- Set some guidelines- You should set some guidelines for mobile consumption and completely limit your phone usage while doing important activities like eating food, reading a book etc.
- Maintain Healthy balance- You should maintain a healthy balance between things. Study should be your priority rather than gaming and don’t fall preys to various gaming offers, gaming should be used for entertainment purposes only. Even if you want to take gaming as your profession still it is important for you to have a good educational background. Study is a must for any field you choose.
- Seek help when necessary- You should seek help from a psychologist or mental health professional, if you are not able to control your addiction. Psychological help and cognitive therapies can be really helpful in severe situations.
- Parenting style- Parents should try to be more frank and open to their kids and talk to them or even play with them even if its games like PUBG so that they can be under their guidance and surveillance. There is no harm to have some fun with your kids and play some games. Rather we can also encourage kids to practice good online habits e.g. reading articles, watching informative video's etc. apart from playing games in their free time.
To conclude, everything is important even gaming but in optimal amount, as it too helps us to develop abilities like multitasking etc. So, we can say that study is important as well as gaming but don't clash them, maintain a healthy balance between these two. Excessive gaming makes us socially less active which ultimately affects our health and daily life activities.
Man is the architect of his own destiny.