The popularity of the gaming industry is steadily increasing and India is at the forefront of this rise. Video games have been all the rage for a few years and since the pandemic the growth has been exponential.
There is a large gaming community in India and given some of the negative effects the government has released online gaming guidelines for parents and teachers.
Due to the huge increase in popularity, the Indian government has would have published guidelines for online gaming. Parents and teachers should follow them to promote healthy play practices.
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Mobile games are more popular in India and due to their accessibility there are a large number of mobile gamers in the country. These games have also been criticized for being addictive and inducing violence in several instances.
Here are the Dos and Don’ts as advised by the Union of India government.
To do :
- While playing online games, if something is wrong, immediately stop and take a screenshot (using the “print screen” button on the keyboard) and report it.
- Help your child protect their privacy online, ask them to use a pseudonym (avatar) that does not reveal their real name.
- Use anti-virus / spyware programs and configure web browsers securely using a firewall.
- Enable parental controls and security features on the device or in the app or browser, as this will restrict access to certain content and limit spending on in-game purchases.
- Notify if a stranger tries to strike up a conversation about something inappropriate or asks for personal information.
- Check the age of any games your child plays.
- In the event of bullying, encourage people not to respond and keep track of harassing messages and report the behavior to the gaming site administrator / block, remove or remove that person from their player list, or deactivate the cat in the game a function.
- Play alongside your child to get a better idea of how they handle their personal information and with whom they communicate.
- Help your child understand that some features of online games are used to encourage more gambling and spending.
- Talk to them about gambling, what it is, and its consequences both online and in the physical world.
- Always make sure that your child is accessing the Internet from a computer placed in the home space.
Not to do :
- Do not allow in-game purchases without parental consent. To avoid in-app purchases; OTP based payment methods can be adopted according to RBI guidelines.
- Avoid registering credit / debit cards on subscription apps. Place an upper limit on spending per transaction.
- Don’t let kids buy directly from the laptop or mobile they are using to play.
- Advise children not to download software and games from unfamiliar websites.
- Tell them to beware of clicking any links, images, and pop-ups on websites, as they may contain viruses and damage the computer, and may contain age-inappropriate content.
- Advise them not to give out personal information on the Internet when downloading games.
- They should never share personal information with people in the games and on the game profile.
- Advise them not to communicate with strangers, including adults, via webcam, private messaging, or online chat, as this increases the risk of contact with online abusers or bullying from them. other players.
- Advise them not to indulge in gambling for long hours without taking a break due to aspects of health and addiction.
Parents and mentors need to be vigilant and keep an eye on their wards. Here are some additional guidelines:
- Keep an eye out for unusually secretive behaviors, mostly related to their online business
- A sudden increase in the time they spend online, especially on social media
- They seem to change screens on their devices when approached
- They become withdrawn or angry after using the Internet or sending text messages.
- Their device suddenly has many new phone numbers and email contacts.
- Install a home Internet gateway that has features like monitoring, logging, and controlling the types of content kids can access.
- Teachers need to keep an eye out for declining grades and students’ social behavior.
- If teachers observe anything that may appear suspicious or alarming, they should immediately notify school authorities.
- Teachers should ensure that children are educated from time to time about the pros and cons of the Internet.
- Teachers should train students in the secure configuration of web browsers and web applications.
The Union government, with the aim of promoting the digital age and the new internet age, is drafting these policies recently. The growth of games and esports in India has been huge and over 100 million young Indians are actively playing multiplayer games.
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