PUBG is new gaming addiction

It has sparked safety and financial concerns too.

PUBG is a multiplayer shooter game that many claim is highly addictive.

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, better known as PUBG, is a rage among gamers and youths. The multiplayer online game was launched in 2017 and has made it to the list of best-selling games.

“The interface is smooth, and new features get added often which makes it pretty addictive. Unlike many other mobile game apps, it allows me to play with my friends,” says Divya Nair, a gaming enthusiast. She spends almost four hours playing the game during weekends.

PUBG is a multiplayer shooter game where up to one hundred players fight in a ‘battle royale’ and the last person or team alive wins. One can play the game with either friends or unknown people.

“I’d suggest not playing with any strangers because many of them tend to be really rude and abusive. It’s always better to play with your friends or people you know,” she adds.

Divya opines that one should always take some time off from the game as it can get addictive. She shares that she deleted the app to prevent herself from getting too addicted, and when she reinstalled it, she spends lesser time on it than before.

Arjun, a student, says that the game is like exploring a new world, with the graphics letting oneself immerse in the experience. He plays it twice a day on his mobile.

Athul, a professional,
believes that releasing the mobile version gets more people hooked because of the accessibility.

PUBG can be played on multiple platforms, and will soon be launched on Sony PlayStation 4.

A lot of children play the game even though it is marked for people who are above sixteen as it involves user interaction and digital purchases. “PUBG is less violent as compared to other action games. However, parents should be aware that there are in-app purchases,” he says.

He further states, “The in-app purchases lets one customise their character. There is also an aspect of gambling which doesn’t actually add any value to the game.” He asserts that one is safe if no personal information is shared.

Kriti Subba, another professional, says that she is not a fan of the game. When questioned about the safety concern, she says “I do tell people to be careful when they are playing games online because you never know when someone takes the game loss personally. A lot of online gaming networks take our personal details like bank details and billing address, and people can just find a way to get those details and find you. It’s 2018, we are paranoid.”

More cases of gaming addiction especially of children are being reported at the Safe and Healthy Use of Technology (SHUT) clinic, NIMHANS.

"Everybody will have some sort of addiction; it is based on what you choose. Video games are a way to easily get a rush at the cost of one's health, time etc., which becomes disruptive addiction," says Dr Lokesh Babu, director, Sneha Manovikasa Kendra.

He further adds that this kind of addiction spikes in people who are prone to impulsivity and attention deficit disorder; kids from neglected homes, with authoritative or strict parents, and who don't have a regular conversation with parents.

The fantasy and victory in the gaming world might boost self-esteem and provide content, but it is disruptive when they think more about the fantasy world and lose touch with reality. The adrenaline rush and the release of dopamine (a happy hormone) when one wins a game may urge them to indulge in it again and again.

It should be considered a recreational activity; for thirty or sixty minutes. "It helps when gaming is set as a prize or a goal after studying or working for a few hours," he suggests.

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