The Delhi Commission For Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR) has issued an advisory detailing what signs and symptoms children might exhibit when negatively impacted by a game and how to protect them. The circular has deemed many games like PUBG, Hitman series and others as harmful and negative for children.
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Battle Royale games like PUBG and Fortnite are growing big and this is primarily because they are easily accessible from mobile phones. PUBG Mobile can be considered growing at a faster pace in India as both players and streamers prefer playing the title. However, not all news is good news for the game since parents and govt officials in India consider it addictive in nature as it’s supposedly causing problems for children and affecting their studies. Now, the Delhi Commission For Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR) has issued an advisory to the Directorate Of Education (DOE) and Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) schools to be wary and protect children from the harmful effects of games that are “full of misogyny, hate, deceit and vengeance…”
Ranjana Prasad, Member of DCPCR posted a couple of images of the advisory, which deemed games like PUBG, Fortnite, Grand Theft Auto series, God of War, Hitman series, Plague INC, and Pokemon as causing a harmful, negative and adverse impact on a child’s brain. It also lists some signs and symptoms to look out for in children to figure out if they are affected from such games like “Becoming withdrawn from friends and family” or “Sudden outbursts of anger directed at himself/herself.” It also doles out advice on how one can protect children from such games.
Advisory issued by @DCPCR to DOE and all MCD schools to be vigilant and protect their Children from Harmful effects of online games as well as sensitise Parents through SMC PTA PTM . @NCPCR_ pic.twitter.com/U2lMdfDJOI— Ranjana (@RanjanaPrasad8) February 6, 2019
This comes after a 19-year old boy reportedly hung himself to death when his family members denied buying him a high-end smartphone for playing PUBG Mobile. The 19-year old was said to be a resident of Kurla’s Nehru Nagar area in Mumbai, who demanded his parents to buy him a smartphone worth Rs 37,000 to play the title on. The game has is also banned from primary schools in Gujarat and the Jammu and Kashmir Student Association has requested for the same. An 11-year old boy has reportedly moved the Bombay High Court to ban the game on grounds of being addictive and imparting wrong values like looting and violence on children.
Even though the circular simply states some games as violent and harmful for children, the same can be said for any media that portrays the same, be it movies or something on the TV. Additionally, the circular does not cite whether or not it conducted a study to find that these games do actually cause an adverse impact on a child's psyche. Excessive of anything is never good and this is not the first time video games have been blamed for violent behaviour in kids. Making sure that kids don't spend too much time with a screen is also the parent's responsibility and they can make use of a range of digital well-being apps that can help achieve the same.
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