Indian online gaming industry has grown at an exponential rate over the past few years and it is expected to grow further with India’s digital revolution. The beginning of online gaming industry in India is traced back to 2000s when PC gaming and console gaming brought several middle income group Indians on digital gaming platform. The international developers provided a base to the Indian gamers whereas the Indian gaming developer’s ecosystem primarily acted as service providers. As India’s smartphone user base and internet penetration increased, online gaming grew very fast with an estimated 120 million gamers online now.
The fast spread of low-cost cellphones among rural and urban populations has been a major driver of growth in the Indian online gaming business. In India, there are around 400 million smartphone users. Though India’s internet penetration is low, it is predicted to reach over 53% of the population by 2021. New technology at accessible prices, an increase in the number of local developers, and other factors will all contribute to this growth.
INDIAN GAMER’S PROFILE
According to a Google India survey, the average Indian gamer is under the age of 24. In comparison to females, males make up the majority of gamers. Male gamers make up 83 percent of the gaming population, which is concentrated in the country’s urban areas. Under the influence of their peers, these individuals begin gaming. Another motive for starting online gaming is for entertainment and time management.
Gaming is also used by some people for stress release and social engagement. Mobile phones are the most popular gaming platform, with 85 percent of games being played on them. Puzzle games, action games, and adventure games are the most popular genres among Indian gamers.
REASON FOR RISE OF ONLINE GAME IN INDIA
- Higher Living Standards– The income of the middle and upper middle classes has expanded significantly, improving their level of living. They may now spend more time on leisure activities and spend their free time doing so. They have been drawn to online gaming by rising living standards and more free time, which takes only a small investment in a smartphone and an active mobile internet connection.
- A Rise in Smartphone Adoption By 2022, India’s smartphone population is expected to reach 820 million people. In both rural and urban areas, the number of smartphones has increased. This is owing to the introduction of lower-cost smartphones in Indian markets. Smartphone adoption has surpassed 25%, with the rate being substantially greater in metropolitan areas.
- India’s youth India is a young country in terms of demographics, with 50% of the population under the age of 25 and 65% under the age of 35. This age group enjoys online gaming and is more informed about smartphone and online gaming platform trends.
- Technologies that are within reach In India, new technologies such as virtual reality and augmented reality are far more affordable than in previous years. These technologies facilitate online gaming and improve the gaming experience.
- Developing a Developed Ecosystem in the Community Previously, Indian gamers received games from multinational developers. Indian developers, on the other hand, have risen to prominence on a global scale as their skills have improved. Local developers have begun to create games in India.
- Games that are completely free– The majority of games in the gaming ecosystem are available for free. Users do not have to pay to download or play games. The expansion of India’s gaming environment has been boosted by the rise of freemium games. The games are free to play in this approach, but the user must pay the creator for some premium features. This does not prevent consumers from downloading and playing free games without purchasing the premium version.
Gaming Addiction in Children and Teens
Gaming addiction has been designated as a mental health issue by the World Health Organization. Gaming addiction is defined by the World Health Organization as a pattern of continuous or recurrent gaming behavior that has grown so pervasive that it has surpassed other life interests. According to a study conducted by a US-based organization, 24.2 percent of Indian gamers have taken time off work to play games. Many people play video games while at work. There is sufficient evidence to imply that gaming addiction has spread to India. According to the World Health Organization, gaming addiction can affect many parts of life, including academics, job, relationships, and health.
The following are indicators of addiction, according to psychologists.
- Playing nonstop for long periods of time. Social invitations to play games are being declined.
- Personal and professional relationships are strained.
- Headaches, dry eyes, and aching fingers are all symptoms of sleep problems and disrupted sleep patterns.
- Weight gain or decrease that is out of the ordinary • Modifications to daily activities, such as eating habits.
- Less focus on schoolwork, studying, and office work, for example.
- Playing games on a regular basis and not being able to stop.
The Consequences of Gaming Addiction
Gaming addiction has a variety of physical and mental consequences. Gaming addiction has a number of negative consequences.
- Effects on the Budget Despite the fact that most games are free to play, they do incorporate a variety of features.
- Premium features are not available for a fee. Premium features are purchased by gamers in order to advance further in the game. Young people frequently spend a large portion of their earnings on premium material. Even to download free games, several platforms request debit and credit card details. Young people who have access to these credit or debit cards frequently buy apps without their parents’ permission.
- Effects on Personal Development Impact on other aspects of life is one of the most significant consequences on adolescents. It has an impact on personal development since young people are unable to focus on their education or careers. In their educational or professional lives, people may become bored, have difficulty concentrating, and feel demotivated. Young people’s emotional well-being is also harmed by exposure to violent graphic or sexual content. It leads to violent behavior and everyday hostility over trivial matters. This has an impact on people’s personal development because they are frequently frustrated with themselves.
- Social Relationships Affects Gaming addiction makes it difficult for people to interact socially since they are preoccupied with their games while ignoring their responsibilities. Interaction is reduced in.
- Both physical and mental health are endangered by social lives. Relationships between addicted gamers are frequently strained. Because they value gaming above all other activities in life, they frequently make socially damaging decisions. They don’t have time or the energy after their gaming sessions to invest in their relationships.
EFFECT ON PHYSICAL HEALTH
People that play video games for lengthy periods of time have stiffness, backaches, soreness, and numbness. When one stares at a screen for lengthy periods of time without taking a break, eye strain is prevalent. People frequently play video games while sitting in bad postures, which can lead to complicated stress and strains that are difficult to diagnose using standard methods. People’s lives get more sedentry as a result of their gaming addiction, as they skip out on regular exercise and even meals. They also engage in unsanitary behaviours such as eating junk food and eating and playing at the same time. Sleep rhythms are also disrupted by gaming addiction.
EFFECT ON MENTAL HEALTH
Gaming addiction has a negative impact on mental health. It causes rage or hostility, and young people frequently cry, scream, or physically attack their families or peers. In addition, there is a strong want to return to gaming as soon as one completes another daily chore, such as eating or doing home or office work. People also feel alone or lonely because they spend so much time alone playing video games. Younger gamers are frequently depressed as a result of having to stop playing games for numerous reasons.
REASON FOR INCREASING GAMING AMONG PEOPLE
Video games boost a person’s self-esteem and confidence. The person feels empowered and believes they can face life’s tough challenges. It also increases people’s decision-making speed. However, it becomes extremely risky because violence-based action games are frequently used to develop decision-making abilities.
Collaboration is encouraged while playing games, which enhances teamwork and cooperation abilities. Young people feel motivated and energized when they contribute to the team and are rewarded for it.
People who are interested in mathematics and solving puzzles are drawn to games that incorporate puzzle solving and mathematical skills.
It becomes compulsive. The player’s brain gets a good exercise while gaming. As participants continue to play games, the difficulty level rises, and the game becomes more engrossing. They enjoy the challenge and are eager to complete the more harder stages. Because it requires multitasking, it boosts players’ self-esteem and improves their motor skills, decision-making ability, and cognitive abilities.
Friends in peer groups frequently recommend games to their peers. Younger people are drawn to online gaming because of the social dialogues and excitement that surrounds it. Increased internet gaming is further aided by engaging ads and captivating graphics.
The internet has become a vital part of people’s daily life in India and around the world. Smartphones are increasingly being utilized for everyday chores such as cooking, travelling, learning, and schooling. In India, mobile gaming has been growing for over two decades. While it has provided some with a sense of fulfilment, it has also been linked to social anxiety, loneliness, and even despair. It is critical to regulate gambling at all levels, from the household to the national level. India has a sizable demographic dividend if it is reaped and appropriately utilized in a timely manner. Gaming addiction has emerged as a significant impediment to realizing this demographic dividend. Though the internet gaming industry has developed in leaps and bounds, it has also created a slew of issues for young people and their families. These concerns highlight the need to reconsider how online games are played and regulated.