Let us Fight the PUBG Addiction

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SMARTPHONES have revolutionized modern society and made lives easy. Now, most of us cannot think of living without these electronic boxes.

Primarily developed for communication among people, mobile phones are now being misused in various ways. In this digital era, playing pointless online games has become a common trend among the youth. Rather than utilising the developments in technology as a boon for expanding one’s intellectual capacity, youngsters have begun to think of cell phones as a gaming device and nothing more.

Even though some consider such gaming applications to be mood changer and others think of it as a stress buster, we must remember that what it inflicts on its users is far more harmful than the temporary relief it brings. It is a matter of serious concern that Kashmiri youngsters are addicted to a good number of such online games, PUBG being the most notorious.

PUBG (Players Unknown’s Battleground) is a multiplayer online video game developed by a South Korean company called Bluehole. It was first released for Microsoft Windows in 2017, and its Android and iOS versions came out in 2018. Shortly after its release, it received a large number of downloads, winning the accolade of the ‘Best Game Of The Year’ at the 2018 Steam Awards. In 2019, PUBG mobile reached 555 million players worldwide. The game’s largest market is India with around 116 million downloads, followed by China at 108 million, and USA at 42 million.

This game is believed to be the most played online video game of all time. Since its inception, PUBG mobile has been attracting a lot of people towards it each day. It has gained immense prominence in the last two years.

It has become the menace to our society, which, if not tackled on time, may prove harmful for our younger generation. It isn’t just the young and unmarried who are hooked to this game, as one may imagine. Even married people who have young children are addicted to it. Nowadays, there is only one subject that is discussed by Kashmir’s youth – PUBG.

Whether at home or outside, Kashmiri youngsters have nothing else to discuss and care about, other than PUBG. Not only has this game distracted them from their studies, it has made them neglect their kith and kin. During the ongoing Covid-19 lockdown, families observed that their young ones were getting even more addicted to the game.

Today, these addicts are going to bed playing the game and waking up doing the same. Some don’t sleep at all. They are blindly sinking into this filth.  PUBG is consuming their time, energy and health. It has been badly affecting our young generation in a myriad ways:

Violence: PUBG is a game of violence wherein the plot just requires one to fire and kill the opponents. This triggers a burst of aggressive behaviour in the player’s mind. If encouraged, the player may gradually start applying such tendencies in real life as well. Breeding such a mental state is harmful for the human body. Recently, a  few PUBG-addicted children suffered from cardiac arrests, although they had no reported history of any cardiac ailment. The concerned doctors have attributed the cause of their cardiac arrest to the emotions evoked while playing the violent online game.

Physical health: We all know that physical exercise is good for our bodies. Just sitting and playing PUBG all day is proving injurious to the physical health of the gamers. It tends to make the players sluggish. Headaches, fatigue, and migraines are common amongst PUBG players. Additionally, continuous screen watching and playing late at night takes a toll on the their eyes. A highly addicted gamer also deprives himself from enjoying a goodnight’s sleep.

Socially alienated: PUBG restricts a player to her home most of the time. As a result, she may grow to become socially alienated.

Mental health deterioration: Like physical health, PUBG affects the mental health of the players as well. A PUBG player gets easily irritated and suffers from anxiety and other mental health related problems. Not only are games like PUBG hindering the mental and emotional development of a user, but are also acting as life threats in a few extreme conditions.

Like any bad habit, addiction to PUBG is difficult to rid oneself of, but is not completely unachievable. There are many ways that can be helpful to overcome the nuisance. The first thing I would suggest is that people addicted to the game build a willingness to get over the habit. Habits are not broken in one go, but gradually. It may take some time to put an end to the habit and a gamer can start by reducing the playing time each day. The earlier we stop this menace, the better it is for our youth and our society as a whole.

Arif Nabi

Zoology Student at Kashmir University

Email: arifnabi.ku@gmail.com

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