Govt Warns Against Gaming Disorders Among Children; Issues Advisory For Parents
In today’s world, online games have become widespread. They are easily available on each device that can be connected to the internet. With the advent of technology and with the massive effort put in by many Gaming companies, these games hold the power to control human behavior. Especially children are more prone to behavioral changes, gaming disorders which are caused by these games.
Looking at the widespread popularity of these games and their potential to make massive changes in society, the government has issued some guidelines. We have enlisted some of the important guidelines issued by the government.
Do’s for online gaming
- While playing online games, if something wrong happened, stop immediately and take a screenshot (using the “print screen” button on the keyboard) and report it.
- Help your child to protect their privacy online, get them to use a screen name (avatar) that does not reveal their real name.
- Use antivirus/spyware programs and configure web browsers securely using a firewall.
- Activate parental controls and safety features on the device or in the app or browser as it helps restrict access to certain content and limit spending on in-game purchases.
- Check the age rating of any games your child is playing.
- Help your child understand that some features in online games are used to encourage more play and spending. Talk to them about gambling, what it is and its consequences both online and in the physical world.
- Always ensure that your child accesses the internet from a computer placed in the family space.
- Install internet gateway at home which has features like monitoring, logging, and controlling the types of content that the children can access.
- Teachers should ensure that children are sensitized about the pros and cons of the internet from time to time.
- Teachers should train students for secure configuration of web browsers & web applications.
Don’ts for online gaming
- Do not allow in-game purchases without parental consent. To avoid in-app purchases; OTP-based payment methods may be adopted as per RBI’s guidelines.
- Avoid credit/debit cards registration on apps for subscriptions. Place an upper limit on expenditure per transaction.
- Advise children not to download software and games from unknown websites.
- Tell them to be beware of clicking links, images, and pop-ups in the websites as they may contain a virus and harm the computer, and may contain age-inappropriate content.
- Advise them not to give personal information over the Internet while downloading games.
- Advise them not to communicate with strangers, including adults, through webcam, private messaging, or online chat, as it increases the risk of contact from online abusers, or bullying from other players.
We hope, these guidelines will help parents in looking after the digital well-being of their kids.