There was a time when children used to love to 'go out and play', however, it seems that this is not the case anymore.
Going by the trend seen in the new generation, children prefer to stay at home and play games on computer or phone or gaming console.
A World Health Organisation (WHO) report recognised 'gaming disorder' as a mental illness in June. The WHO’s expert on mental health and substance abuse, Shekhar Saxena, told Reuters that some of the worst cases seen in global research were of gamers playing for up to 20 hours a day, forgoing sleep, meals, work or school and other daily activities.
According to NPD, 91 percent of US children ages 2-17 play video games (64 million). The number is not as much in India for video games and as a matter of fact, India comes under the lower-category for the revenue of the video game industry in India. So far, India contributes only $819 million to the industry as compared to China, which contributes close to $32,000 million.
However, it does not change the fact that the trend is changing in India. Before the evolution of the internet, children used to want to go out and play with their friends or cycle around the colony with their friends or play the street games their parents used to teach them, such as roadside cricket, hopscotch and Gilli Danda.
But now, teenagers prefer to stay indoors, chat and play with their friends on forums such as Facebook or just simply watch television.
There could be multiple reasons why they prefer to stay indoors. Some of the reasons can be internet addiction, preferences of games, addiction to video games or sometimes, it could just be peer pressure.
Peer pressure is one of the most common reasons for children to resort to social media, PC games, etc. When a child is asked if he or she has played a certain game before and if he or she has not, either the kid is mocked or left out of the 'cool kids' group.
Undoubtedly, some amount of physical exercise or activity is essential for children and since the new generation does not prefer to play at the playground or the park, parents try to enroll them into a sport ranging from swimming classes to martial art training.
First Published: IST