The gaming market is growing with the speed of light especially after COVID-19 halted the movement, and people started playing online games, rather than physical sports.
However, apart from the growth, there is a major concern that is also growing day by day, which is about the number of time children and teenagers spend playing online games and the negative impact it can have.
There are also known impacts of gaming addiction-like effects on education and personal growth, social relationships, mental health, physical health.
Sagar Nair, Co-founder, and CEO, Qlan, India’s own Gamer’s Social Network said, “The question like any other has two sides to it. The narrative can be seen from the purview of how gaming & esports is fast becoming an outlet for the tech-savvy youth of today to express themselves and take on the real world with a virtual medium.”
Nair also said that Esports is a legitimate career option for the youth today and starting early actually gives them the edge. If one aims to become a professional esports athlete, it demands the commitment and dedication that a sport like cricket or a football does as well. Aspirants will have to invest time in practicing and honing their skills to make it count and chase the dream of playing for an Esports organisation.
Shivam Rao, Co-founder, and COO of Trinity Gaming said, “Given, if someone is spending a decent amount of time gaming, it could actually benefit them. This is a great format to relieve stress, form strategies better teach time management, develop the ability to concentrate, and can even improve decision-making skills.”
“Overdoing anything does have negative effects, however, the youth today are well informed and understand the pros and cons of excessive gaming. Gaming brands also make a conscious effort to highlight the dos and don’ts and emphasize the right path to be taken in this journey. Focus on daily hours of gaming, sleeping patterns, diet, and downtime are communicated effectively. In short, playing video games can be fun and social activity when integrated into a healthy lifestyle that includes plenty of sleep, exercise, and good nutrition, rather than letting the game become your life,” Nair added.
Rao, while talking about the COVID-19 pandemic, said that it was during the lockdown that esports or the gaming industry witnessed an overwhelming response from its new users. It proved to help them to overcome the social distancing phase and be socially active even if it meant virtually nothing. Connecting with new people gave them a sense of togetherness.
“Gamification in learning is also becoming a popular new age teaching format, applied to simplify the learning process with a twist of fun. There is a lot of potentials that online gaming beholds and needs to be explored. So, Yes, surely it is affecting the youth, but how, that completely depends on how one uses it,” Rao added.
If official figures are to be believed, a total of 81 per cent of under 18s regularly play online games.
Meanwhile, Tarun Gupta, Founder, Ultimate Battle, said, “Excessive gaming without a proper routine, exercise, and meals can cause issues as is with any other form of activity when done excessively without proper guidance. Moderation is the key to having a healthy life.”
Professional esports players spend more than 8 hours playing games daily along with routine exercises and proper meals to maintain their top-tier performance, Tarun Mentioned.
“I’d suggest young players understand their goals and if they’re looking to become an esports athlete, they need to work on themselves along with getting better at the game. Education is an essential key to injury prevention. Gamers need to be educated on how to protect their thumbs, wrists, and elbows, their waistlines, their emotional state, their sleep, and their eyes. Simple education around taking breaks, stretching, eating healthy snacks, and resting and icing your thumb, wrist, or elbow when it starts hurting can address injuries early before they become significant,” Tarun added.