Address gaming addiction intelligently: expert

Internet experts have suggested multiple ways to address teenagers’ addiction towards video games which seriously affect their scholastic performance and social and family life.

Suresh Kumar, Information Technology and Security Adviser to the UAE government, says that a child should have no more than an hour daily to play video games. “Observe when does your child play video games. Is it when they are bored, sad, depressed or in some other state of mind? You should then address the cause of the child’s state of mind. If your children throw tantrums or show anger or depression after the time you have allotted for playing the game, place even sterner time limitations, and reward the wards if they give up the games well within the time you have allotted them. Besides, engage them in relaxation methods such as deep breathing or meditation to manage anxiety,” he says.

Mr. Kumar also warns that online video gaming exposes children to several security risks. One of the direct consequences of online gaming is the creation of personal accounts and these can be target of malicious hacking. Personal information such as your address, credit card details and bank accounts can be stolen and misused. Parents should review details sought by the sites when the children sign up for online gaming. “ Even if they ask for your real name, address and birth date, ask yourself if the game really needs all this information. It is advised to set up a separate email account for game registration, separate from personal email accounts that contain contact information and verification information,” he says.

He also advises avoidance of unverified sites and downloading of third-party software from unknown sources. “Unless you are purchasing something, do not link your credit or debit card details to a gaming account. Install reliable security software like anti-virus and spam detection that can also detect malicious links and spams,” he says.

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