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The incidents of gaming addiction have gone up recently with PUBG Mobile entering the online gaming arena. Since the game has become more accessible with the mobile version and is now also available for PlayStation, the number of hours gamers are spending with it is extremely high. This has brought a drastic change in their behavior towards other humans. Moreover, young children are neglecting their studies and focusing only on playing games with their friends. In some cases, the school going children have indulged in 'groupism' due to the game as they carried the battle of PUBG outside the gaming world into real life. While playing PUBG, the players are engrossed in a different world and pay no attention to their surroundings. Parents are troubled as they keep on calling their children but get no response and friends are tired of inviting the gamer duo out to hangouts. Some children have also reportedly stolen money from their homes for in-app purchases.

 

The problem of gaming addiction is becoming more severe with each passing day as the number of addiction cases being reported is increasing. Sometimes we also ignore the symptoms of addiction thinking that it's just a phase and the person will lose interest in the game after some time. But PUBG has everything sorted to keep hold of the gamer; it is the player who has to keep a safe distance from it. Small children are getting indulged in PUBG and consider that winning is equal to life-changing. Increased screen time has detached them from nature and outdoor games no longer appeal to the upcoming generation. They are stuck in virtual reality and it has become difficult to get them out of there. The effective technique of rewards during play keeps the players interested to play for long periods of time at a stretch, which other real-life activities don't.

 

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Most players disconnect calls while playing PUBG, no matter who is it from. They later come up with an excuse if they call back; which they only do if the call was from someone of authority. Personal calls are usually ignored and forgotten, just like the relationships associated with them. In my friend's circle, it has become an unsaid rule to never call a PUBG addict in times of emergency, and everyone knows why. For a considerable time, the people connected to addicts tolerate their habits of ignorance and over-indulgence in the game. But after the limit is crossed, everyone gives up and lets the gamer be to figure out things on his own. No one wants to be treated like an option, especially when you are competing with an online game. If a gamer can choose the game above you, you also have the right to choose yourself above someone like him.

 

PUBG has affected all age groups. It is a trend that gamers are supposed to follow. Children who are new to the world of gaming easily fall into this trap of amazing graphics and instant gratification techniques. Addiction is not a new thing. We have seen people getting addicted to drugs, but PUBG is the modern equivalent of it. When players win at it, dopamine is released which tricks the mind into believing a state of happiness, just like regular chemical drugs. And gamers play match after match to feel that rush of dopamine. Most PUBG players connected to me have the habit of saying ‘just one more match’ when being asked to end the game. But they forget to draw the line and don’t know when more has become enough, and when it crossed the limit.

 

All PUBG players should set aside a specific time for playing that fits in their daily schedule, without affecting the necessary activities. Prevention is better than cure, and restriction is better than addiction.

 

By - Malvika Kushwah

 

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