“बस मम्मा ! सिर्फ दो मिनट और दे दो, फिर पक्का game बंद कर दूंगा” | दो मिनट के पांच मिनट फिर एक घंटा निकल गया पर game अभी भी on है! रीना अपने बेटे को बोलते बोलते गए थक गयी है पर कोई असर नहीं है अक्षय पर | रोज़ रोज़ एक ही हाल | This is not the environment Reena wanted in the house. This push and pull between the mother and son is causing a lot of stress in the house. She has no idea what to do. How to make Akshay see that his addiction to BGMI (also known as PUBG Mobile) is getting a lot to handle.
Well! This story is not just Akshay and Reena’s story. Each parent talks about the amount of time their children play video games and the most popular one is BGMI (PUBG mobile).
They play all day, sometimes all night. Sleep seems like a waste of time. There is always stress in this matter between parents and children. Refusing to come to the dining table. Parents feeling bad, “बेचारा बच्चा भूखा है, चलो कमरे में ही खाना दे देते हैं” Food gets cold but remains untouched.
When asked, children lash out at the thought of leaving the game.
Some parents get so fed up that they stop saying anything. Others have these stressful power games every day.
What is the hype even about? Let’s understand.
What is BGMI (PUBG Mobile)?
If you have been living under the rock and don’t know what PUBG mobile is.
It is a “FREE” (this is the first mind game the developers play with users) battle royale game.
The player has to look for weapons and save themselves from getting killed. This game can be played on the computer and phone (called BGMI) where the player can buy game currency from real money. They can then use the game currency to buy weapon skins and other accessories.
There have been multiple FIRs, suicides, and unfortunate episodes related to this game.
As damage control, PUBG displays this message at the start of the game.
This blog is a brainchild of a student called Rohit Jain.
Why is a student talking about game addiction you ask? Aren’t they the reason for stress in parents?
But Rohit here had such a compelling story to tell about BGMI that we couldn’t resist.
Rohit has seen this life closely and wants to share not just his story but the good, the not so good bits.
Rohit was a senior school student when he started playing BGMI. He has seen the ins and outs of the game. At one point he too could not get away from the game. There was nothing his parents and teachers could do to make him stop playing.
He has a keen interest in observing and learning new things. Rohit is a nature lover with interest photography.in
How did he deal with it? Did Rohit overcome this habit? Let’s find out.
I would play BGMI all night. My parents did not know about it. Doing homework was a burden. There were times when I totally forgot about my tests. Once during my Grade 12 board exam. I played PUBG for 10 hours.
My teachers were concerned and so were my parents. They tried everything they could to help me.
One time, I went on a school trip to Gujrat. All the teachers and students were sitting together and chatting but I was sitting in the corner playing on my phone.
THE ONLY THING that made me feel good was playing BGMI on my phone.
Rohit is not alone. There are so many children battling the same addiction.
Let’s hear from them.
I have made new friends belonging to different backgrounds.
I love this game because I get to strategise actions, and it helps in brain development. It is addictive, but I try my best to control it.”
Yuvraj Sachdev and his BGMI experience.
Yuvraj is 19 years old. He lives in Gurugram.
I like playing BGMI because of the overall concept, graphics and bonding with my friends.”
Aditya Rath on why he plays BGMI
He is 19 years old. Aditya is a resident of Gurugram.
“I came to know about BGMI through a friend. I have been playing it for 2 years continuously with my friends, right until it got banned in India.
My parents do not have an opinion about the game. They have heard the atrocious acts of the people addicted to the game, so they just advice against getting addicted to the game, or any game for that matter.
I play it all the time on my phone, whenever I am going out or during the event if I ever feel bored.
I like this game because it helps me socialise with my friends and also it helps me strategise during the game. It is not really very addictive for me because I play it only when my friends are willing to play with me, thus, I play it in moderation.”
What makes BGMI Good, Bad and Ugly?
Advantages of playing online games like BGMI (PUBG)
I KNOW! Hard to believe
but there ARE advantages of playing video games.
Research shows evident proof of the same
1. Concentration skills increase
Call out a child a thousand times. Stand right next to them and talk and they will not hear you (or at least absorb what you are saying).
What better example of concentration skills than this.
Jokes aside, games like PUBG, BGMI increase the ability to focus and that is evidence-based.
In this game, the player is running and looking for a target to shoot. . This helps in concentration on a task and strengthening the neural circuits.
2. Hand-eye coordination
So when the player is hunting for the target. They have to act fast and save themselves from getting killed. So as soon as they spot they have to shoot. Which is fantastic for hand-eye coordination.
3. Online Interaction
Players from all over the world with similar interests. Talking about the same thing they are passionate about. No pressure of being a certain height, weight or complexion. Looks don’t matter in this kind of friendship. All these factors make this interaction enjoyable.
4. Team coordination
PUBG is played in a multiplayer style as well. Everyone wants to win the game so having good team coordination is important. When children learn to do well in groups it helps their study, social, life skills as well.
5. Financial Opportunities
People also play this professionally. There are gaming championships on a massive scale. It involves cash prizes, media exposure and huge visibility on social media platforms. Youtube has millions of viewers on game streaming and tutorial channels. It is an unbelievable amount of fame and brand endorsements.
Disadvantages of playing PUBG Mobile
1. Shockingly Addictive that players are unable to stop (even if they want to)
I am sure you would have heard the same stories around you. Children getting addicted to the game and even horror stories of teenagers committing suicides because they lost a challenge in the game (heartbreaking right)
2. Causes behaviour issues in children
It is shocking to hear someone ending their life because of a game. And not to forget several behavioural issues like aggression, anger, violence, foul language this game brings out in players (mostly teen children).
Children who play PUBG are somewhere from 14 years of age till 20. These are not just impressionable years but also the years of confusion and finding yourself.
While playing their favourite game when they see their gaming idols (folks who stream this game on Youtube) behaving and speaking a certain way. They pick the same language and mannerisms.
For 2 reasons
They think it “cool” to act this way. That guy speaks this way and has millions of followers. People really like him. If I behave the same, people will like me too (being liked is a huge deal for all of us).
Children think it’s normal to speak those words. So they walk around casually using the cuss words.
3. Financially draining for children and parents
Some children have spent anywhere from thousands to lakhs of rupees buying BGMI game currency. They either use their pocket money, their parents’ credit cards, or take loans from friends.
Yes Loans. Sometimes they happen in the form of one friend paying for the rest of the gang through Paytm. The gang repaying the friend by cash.
You might wonder, Which parent will allow the child to use lakhs of rupees on a game? No one, right!?
The thing is parents do not even get to know about these “expenses” until after they’re done.
Can you imagine how disturbing this is?
4. Loss of interest in studies and social activities
Some children play because their popular friends are playing and they want to be included in the gang.
What makes PUBG Mobile addictive?
- High energy game where you make a LIVE (players can do a voice chat while playing) winning “strategy” with their friends.
- The design of the game is such. Every time the player wants to exit the game. Pops a new exciting challenge (Like a non-stop Netflix binge which keeps you awake the whole night till you cannot anymore).
- Lastly, the most important one. THE THRILL OF WINNING and achievement. Overcoming challenges. Your gamer “friends” are praising you. The amount of weapons etc you have.
- Just like in a grownup’s world, where they thrive on the praise of their friends and relatives. For having a “good” car, fancy house, a trip to Greece, the “IT” handbags etc. The highs of this game are similar for children.
On September 2, 2020. For security reasons. Our government decided to ban all Chinese apps. BGMI was one of them. So many children were devastated.
The numbers of this game are ASTOUNDING
At the time of research of this blog, This game has had 34 Million registered users.
Why is it a threat mostly for Indian students?
Over 120 Million people play BGMI (PUBG mobile) in India. It is one of the most downloaded games of all time.
The ban was a huge blow to the game developers (I mean just look at the numbers).
So, they created BGMI.
BGMI is short for Battleground mobile India.
They offered a “solution” to the addiction. Before a match, they put up a notice. Tap here to watch
What does this mean for Parents?
I have seen this up close. The emotional, mental and financial ( it may not be as big as the former two) toll it takes on the parents.
How helpless they feel when the child is in front of the computer all day and night. At the cost of their eyes, family, studies and potentially affecting their future. No amount of counselling makes the child understand the consequences.
Children get aggressive due to not being able to play the game. It is NOT AN EASY SIGHT for a parent.
What can they do in the case of their child’s BGMI gaming disorder?
- Like any other addiction. Gaming addiction also stems from emotion. It could be anything from feeling in control, appreciation, validation and being heard. Ask the child what they like about the game and why. As parent-child teamwork on that emotion together.
For eg: If the child says they like playing the game because his/her friends always make him the leader. He/She loves winning the challenges and enjoys taking crucial decisions while playing.
Then maybe in their real-life, they do not have the opportunity to make decisions for themselves. It makes them feel helpless. So, playing the game non-stop and enjoying the control – feels empowering to them.
- “Okay! Turn off the game now. Enough”, parents say. Believe it or not, the child knows this too. The problem is they are not able to stop despite. We tell children don’t do this. Instead, tell them what they can do. Give them options of what else they can do.
Watch the new Marvel movie.
Netflix and Chill (lol),
Bake the new cookie recipe.
Visit the new bookstore in the market.
The point is you know your child best. Suggest based on their likes.
And most important.
Be patient. Let time pass.
They will not stop playing in a day. It will take time. Your patience and understanding will help the child immensely.
Like I wasn’t sure whether I would be able to conquer my PUBG addiction. Eventually, I did. Your child would too.
How does BGMI addiction affect the Teachers?
The biggest demotivation for teachers is – students are not engaged in the class. They are not serious about their studies. The teacher comes with a lesson plan to the class. They come with the hope of delivering the concept well. Being a noble profession. Teachers want to connect with their students and make them understand the concept well.
The class reality is Cameras off. Even after repeated reminders. Students skipping classes or playing on the next tab. having their friends do proxy attendance.
Such a disheartening sight for teachers.
It is common knowledge that children who spend their time playing video games like BGMI and PUBG neglect their studies. The work is subpar and grades average.
we cannot generalise this and it is not fact-based.
How can teachers help?
Whether we like it or not. Games and screens are a big part of our lives and there is no getting away from it. If teachers accept this part of their students’ lives and guide them to choose the games that will not consume their studies.
Use BGMI examples (non-violent ones obviously) and help students create a connection. If students can find a safer space within their classroom. Where their challenges and struggles are heard and handled well.
They will do much better in regulating the time spent playing video games. In short, create a space where the student doesn’t feel the need to escape.
Should children play PUBG mobile or Not?
You decide. The only reason I shared my story is that I wanted to tell students, parents, teachers. There is nothing wrong with playing the game. There is nothing wrong with being passionate about a game
KNOW WHEN TO STOP.
If you need help keeping track. Designate the number of minutes you will play and put an alarm on the phone. Ask your parents to remind you. They will be more than happy to remind you.
Did I stop playing BGMI?
I did. By banning the game, The government of India made sure I stop playing. haha
Parents should not stop children from playing. It is a violent game but children are wise enough to know this is not real-life behaviour. The player should manage time between gaming and studies. Play PUBG/BGMI for fun. Not to impress friends so they will like you more.
BGMI ban happened at the time when I was looking for a push to stop. It was hard but he did it. So can other students.
Even though the game came back. Rohit did not fall weak. He learnt to take his health seriously. Understood these are important years of his life. He could not ignore his studies. This made it easier to leave the addiction.
There was an emotional reason too. He loved his parents way too much and seeing them anxious and worried – wasn’t a good feeling. His teachers, friends, and family were judging him for being careless about studies. More than them he was JUDGING HIMSELF.
How change happened!
There came a change and it lasted. Now he is in college. PUBG is only a way to pass an hour and nothing more.
If you are a parent, student or teacher. Whether you want to share your success story or a challenge regarding gaming habits. Write to me at email@example.com. I would be happy to help deal with the challenge.