The Cultural Phenomenon of Virtual Gaming



Technology has been a boon for us in terms of finding different ways and ideas of doing things easier and in lesser time. However, a lot of people have forgotten to draw lines between the constructive use of technology and usage that harms if not controlled. A lot of people are only seen these days, glued to their laptops and computer screens. Even in family gatherings, everybody is physically present with their own smartphones and gadgets stealing attention and time. This has been the cause of fights and arguments in many conversations between parents and their children. Parents have been heard complaining about their children for only getting up from their laptops for having food or using the washroom. This itself indicates the obsessive state of dependence on smartphones for playing virtual games without the need to follow a time management schedule.

Headlines such as “25yo get a brain stroke while playing PUBG '' is not a rare sight anymore. It seems like a massive proportion of today’s youth is interested in an alternate reality, which is that of a virtual nature. Distraction seems to be the way; by the rush of the games, the nostalgia that comes with “catching” a Pokemon, on the VR game Pokemon GO or whatever it is that excites a 20-year-old about a reality that is not his own.

Mumbai resident Jabir Ali, sitting in his car, was playing the Nintendo game for the first time on his mobile phone when an autorickshaw ran into his Mercedes E240. A recent report indicates a young man from Chhindwara in Madhya Pradesh was drinking acid and mistaking it for a beer when immersed in the game of PUBG. A train in Maharashtra knocked down two people engaged in playing the online game PUBG.

Such incidents point to a trend of not just distraction, but dumbing down. An escapist attitude comes along with such a game, that causes immense procrastination and mental health issues in the best-case scenarios, and death in the worst-case scenario. A sense of isolation and alienation comes with one when one dedicates all their time to a certain game. When a young adult feels more responsible for their character in a game than in their life itself, that points toward a larger problem.

A cultural phenomenon that depends completely on a virtual reality, which might cause serious damage to one’s life; is not one that we should want any part of.

By:- Alankrita Tiwari


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