Since March, several gaming apps have seen a dramatic increase in its downloads. “Bored Indians trying to keep themselves busy also downloaded many apps with Ludo King, Carrom Pool being in high demand,” said a recent report.
Many in the city feel that gaming has helped them catch up with friends. Abdul Rahman, a resident of Indira Nagar, has been able to connect with his buddies who live abroad. “I get to have fun with them who are miles away,” he says. “We get together over House Party or PUBG. We hang out in those virtual maps, talking and playing. I feel this isn’t wrong if done in moderation,” shares Abdul.
While gamers see the positive side, health experts also warn of its ‘craving’. Mridul Sharma, a neuropsychiatrist who specialises in addiction control, says, “People should create a schedule every day. Apart from the daily tasks like working from home or household chores, you can start doing activities like reading a book or taking an online course.”
Varsha Vijayakumar, a clinical psychologist, suggests that people should focus on developing healthy habits. “It’s okay to allow more screen time than usual during this situation as long as its age-appropriate. It’s important for parents to focus on their emotions as a priority so that they can clear their heads up and effectively manage their households. This is a beautiful opportunity to reconnect with your family members
and better your togetherness,” says Varsha.
She also suggests that children use screen time to learn something new and creative. “Focus should be on the quality of screen time rather than the quantity. It’s a great time to connect with your relatives and friends through video chats. Even watching a movie with family can help everyone relax and enjoy,” adds Varsha.
The psychologist tells that parents should come up with creative solutions to reduce screen time of children. “You can build board games, build puzzles together, have a mini theatre show, build a fort with simple things around the houses, paint rocks, or encourage them to write a story, do a collage, sing a song or even paint their thoughts and feelings about this COVID-19 situation they are in,” she signs off.