India registered around 365 million online gamers in the financial year 2020 according to KPMG report. The reason for the popularity of online gaming platforms depends on two factors: first, online games draw users into a virtual world in which they can play using their alter ego; second, the excitement one gets from playing an online game is just as good as believing one could be a superhuman, even on a virtual platform. It is estimated that most children start playing online games at the age of four or five. Online games are practically stimulating and immediately grab children’s attention.
While online games cater to different age groups, children, in particular, are particularly enamored with their favorite characters and the extraordinary feats they can exhibit. The imaginary adventure does not leave adults aside. However, the most demanding minds could also use their video game skills on memory-enhancing or logic-boosting games. YourDOST recently concluded its study on Perception of Indian parents on their children’s online games. The study aims to discern what Indian parents think of their children who indulge in online games. The study also analyzes the levels at which the risks of online games outweigh the benefits for children. Study data from the survey is compiled and analyzed from the responses of 429 parents. YourDOST study results suggest that most parents help their children enjoy online games with some restrictions.
Here are the main results:
- 61% of parents say their children play video games.
- 61% of parents agreed that online games are beneficial for children while 23% were unsure and 17% disagreed.
- 65% of parents have played online games themselves and understand why their children play online games. A majority also want to know more about online games.
- 60% of parents also believe that online games can be a great stress reliever for children.
- 48% of them think that online games are a great way to socialize. games like PUBG, Fortnite, Minecraft, Call of Duty, CS:GO, and more allow users to connect with their friends and play together in virtual reality which creates a virtual networking and socializing environment.
- Nearly 40% of parents believe gambling is a profitable career option.
- Over 60% of parents believe online games are a distraction and require parental supervision.
- More than 50% of parents believe that gambling can have dangerous consequences.
- Nearly 50% of parents think online games are dangerous and a waste of money.
- 88% believe that online games could be addictive.
- 79% think that online games can hinder school results.
- 74% of parents believe that online games can cause violent behavior in children and can have adverse health effects.
- 77% of parents believe that oOnline games expose children to age-inappropriate content.
- Many parents have found their family life affected by their children’s play; 76% have been frustrated within the family due to their children’s online gaming behavior.
- 63% have faced arguments and conflicts in the family due to children’s online gaming behavior.
- 62% felt a strain in the parent-child relationship due to their child’s online gaming behavior.
- 78% of parents believe it is necessary to establish rules for children’s online gaming behavior, while 22% disagree.
- 62% of parents allow their children to play certain types of online games, 63% allow their children to play video games for a certain amount of time, 76% of parents allow their children to play video games on certain days of the week week.
- 41% in metropolises, 45% in tier 1 cities, 46% in other cities: parents are afraid because of their children’s addiction to online games.
- 36% in metropolitan areas, 39% in level 1 cities, 22% in other cities: parents are afraid of the impact of online games on their children’s academic performance.
- 28% in metropolises, 32% in Tier 1 cities, 41% in other cities: parents are afraid because their children are exposed to inappropriate content in online games.
- 77% of entrepreneurs are convinced that online games can be beneficial for their children. Most entrepreneurs play skilled games like Sudoku to help them develop their skills by sharpening their brains and developing their strategic thinking. As they are aware, they will want their children to develop these skills through online games as well. Next, 55% of working professionals, 53% of housewives and 35% of unemployed/retired and others strongly believe that online games can benefit their children.
- Income can influence the online gambling behavior of children and also that of parents. It is noticed that people with high incomes tend to understand why children play online games compared to people with low incomes. This could be because people with low incomes might be constantly worried that their children are wasting a lot of time in games and not focusing on their studies and getting a good career in the future. This will cause them to set a lot more rules which can make the kids more frustrated or rebellious and which leads to more frustration in the family as they might have constant arguments with their kids regarding their online gaming behavior.
According to the study, it is not only the children who are affected, but the games also have an impact on the family. There may be an increase in frustration in the family and this leads to constant arguments between parents and children. But this can be avoided by establishing flexible ground rules that will help parents and children maintain a good boundary. According to the current study, it is found that most parents are aware of the benefits and dangers of online games. This realization will help most parents establish a flexible ground rule where children will benefit and also be less prone to addiction.