In the year 2000, Battle Royale is released – a Japanese film that follows the lives of a group of high schoolers who are forced to fight to their deaths by the Japanese government. Fast forward to 2018 and PlayerUnknown’s BattleGround (PUBG) is released and it caters to the perfect audience of a generation of screen addicts. In the game, up to one hundred players parachute onto an island and have to fight each other till only one of them survives. The game involves scavenging for weapons and grotesque violence as the players attempt to kill each other and win something called a Chicken Dinner. The phrase “Winner Winner Chicken Dinner” has been popularly associated to the game.
What started out as a harmless game eventually became very addictive and has even led to the death of a 16 year old in Madhya Pradesh. What is it that PUBG has that the previous video games did not have?
For one, it is extremely accessible and free of cost. Another thing is that the game has a multiplayer where you can play with your friends and voice chat in real time. Every time you win, you want to keep playing. The sense of self worth that you experience in that moment is something that you start craving. This is what results in the players losing track of time and ultimately even to gaming addiction.
The WHO officially recognised gaming disorder – something which is more common in male adolescents. Unfortunately, we live in a world where technology is involved in almost every aspect of our lives and is thus, unavoidable. However, parents must be more aware of the negative impact that technology can have on their children. Reducing screen time – television, phones, laptops – should be actively implemented in all households. This includes reduced screen times for the adults as well as children learn best via example. It is imperative to stop validating children if they know how to use mobile phones at a very young age as this encourages them to use the device more.
Children need to be taught the importance of physical activity. Their energy must be channelized towards constructive activities from a very young age, something that they can cultivate interest in as they grow up. With the improvement of technology, the world around us is constantly changing, but it is essential that we do not lose ourselves in this world and forget our priorities.