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India Wants to Impose Certain Limits to Combat Gaming Addiction

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By Erika John - - 5 Mins Read
Silhouette profile of a gamer wearing headphones facing a big screen
Gaming | Christiana/Pixabay

With over 570 million gamers, India has one of the biggest gaming markets worldwide. However, around 140 million of these gamers spend real money on games, which can lead to addiction troubles down the line.

To keep gaming a lighthearted hobby instead of an obsession, the Indian government is considering limiting the time and money people can spend on online and real-money games.

Officials believe putting a cap on these factors could curb excessive, potentially addictive gaming habits.

One idea floating around is to have gaming companies build reminders or auto-logouts into their apps to enforce these playtime and spending limits.

The limits could be tailored based on age and past spending, too - maybe teens will get stricter rules than adults.

Taking Cues from China

India is not the first country to consider this approach. China has already put in place strict time restrictions for gamers under 18 to address addiction issues.

Encouraged by the positive results in China, Indian authorities are considering adopting a similar system.

Frustrated gamers
Addicted gamers | Shutterstock

However, some experts believe that setting strict time limits may not be the most effective solution. They propose exploring more subtle approaches such as parental controls and promoting healthy gaming habits through education and awareness campaigns.

This potential policy shift represents a significant change from India's position just last year, when regulations on online gaming were not being discussed.

However, recent developments like the temporary ban on the hit game BGMI (Battlegrounds Mobile India) suggest the government's priorities have changed.

With nearly 25% of Indian gamers participating in real-money gaming activities, adequate safeguards are the need of the hour.

Also read: Improve Your Gaming Experience With These 5 Super Tips

A Booming But Risky Industry

The gaming industry in India has been booming, thanks to affordable smartphones and internet access. However, with this growth comes challenges, especially regarding addiction and excessive spending.

Stories of students dropping out of school or employees quitting jobs due to gaming addiction have raised red flags.

There have also been incidents of people incurring massive debts or selling off valuables to fund their gaming habits.

As the government aims to protect vulnerable gamers, they also needs to find a balance with the interests of the gaming industry.

Gaming companies argue that overly strict regulations could stifle innovation and growth in this rapidly evolving sector.

According to experts, the key is to find a middle ground where gamers can responsibly enjoy their hobby without compromising the industry's potential or individual freedoms.

The goal is to ensure that gaming remains a fun recreational activity without risking addiction and other negative effects, especially for young, vulnerable players.

As the specifics of these boundaries are worked out, India hopes its gamers can enjoy their hobby responsibly.

A Step Towards Wider Awareness

Experts emphasize the importance of raising awareness and providing education on responsible gaming practices beyond regulatory measures. This may include educating people about digital literacy, advocating for healthy lifestyle choices, and promoting open discussions about gaming addiction within families and communities.

Through a combination of thoughtful policies and community-based initiatives, India has the opportunity to develop a flourishing yet sustainable gaming culture that prioritizes the well-being of its extensive gaming population.