A new storm has hit the world of internet, and it had begun claiming its first victims. Created in December, PUBG was an instant hit and it was the third most popular game even in June, seven months after its introduction.
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds or PUBG is a video game that involves jumping of an airplane into an obscure forest to find weapons and equipment. And then begins the most exciting part of the game, as it involves a battle of survival, players have the choice of sneaking into the play area, avoiding confrontation, or go in all guns blazing with an aggressive mindset.
The Class 10 student was so immersed that he stayed up until 2-3 am playing the game, woke up late and often missed school. It was at this point last month his parents, worried over his future, took him to the SHUT (Service for Healthy Use of Technology) Clinic, located at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), which helps people deal with technology-based addictions.
The doctors diagnosed him with gaming disorder, but have been unable to make much progress because the teen is in denial about his condition.
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World Health Organization recognised gaming as a disorder in June. The boy showed all the symptoms, putting gaming over other activities and continuing with it despite the negative consequences it could bring.
This is not specific to India. In UK, a nine-year-old girl was diagnosed as addicted to Fortnite, a rival of PUBG. In another case, earlier this year, a teen killed his friend in his obsession with the game. The virtual world is coming to dominate the reality to such an extent that some teens are facing psychological issues as a consequence of their obsessions.
In the four years since it was opened, the SHUT Clinic has seen a steady increase in the number of patients showing signs of addiction to the internet, social media, gaming and pornography. This is indeed a sad case, and a strong reminder that we need to save ourselves from the machines and electronic devices.