NortonLifeLock Inc, a global leader in consumer cyber safety, has unveiled the third edition of its India digital wellness report which shows that 87 per cent of respondents in a survey believed that online gaming takes a toll on their physical and mental well-being.
The survey of over 1,500 city-based Indian adults, which explores the growing popularity of online gaming among smartphone users in the country, highlighted that about 76 per cent of respondents feel that addiction to action games lead to changed behaviour and can increase depression and anxiety levels.
Nearly 70 per cent of respondents feel that children connecting with strangers while playing games online can lead to cyber bullying, harassment and violence.
Almost 73 per cent of the parents in the survey say that their children prefer shooting and adventure games while 21 per cent say that their children show a preference for casino and card games.
There is a sense of growing concern among parents as 45 per cent of respondents say they find it difficult to control their children's smartphone usage. Interestingly, 81 per cent of the respondents who put a check mechanism on children's usage of smartphones feel they have not been effective in controlling the gaming time as the children of 42 per cent of these respondents play games online for more than two hours every day.
However, online gaming seems to have some positive impact too on users. About 81 per cent of respondents feel that multiplayer online games enhance teamwork skills while 70 per cent of respondents feel that playing online games can make people smarter as they improve brain coordination and reaction.
"People could be drawn to online gaming for entertainment but data shows that it is not all about fun and games. The virtual playing field comes with risks such as identity theft, cyberbullying, phishing and credit card theft to name a few," said Ritesh Chopra, Director of NortonLifeLock India.
"It is interesting to note that children follow the same patterns as their parents when it comes to online gaming. Therefore it becomes extremely important for parents as well as children to be educated about the threats that can compromise their safety and privacy in this complex digital world. 'Play well and stay safe' seems to be the new mantra in these challenging times," he said in a statement.
The online gaming space, largely perceived to be male-dominated, seems to be dominated by females instead. About 88 per cent of female respondents find online games to be the best pastime as compared to 86 per cent of their male counterparts.
Interestingly, 61 per cent of female respondents are willing to skip meals, sleep and other activities for online games as opposed to 45 per cent of male counterparts.