How the era of Covid-19 brings rise to gaming addiction?

This coronavirus pandemic has lots of dark sides spreading around the world, where people are getting ill and die, the closing of schools and workplaces, the overloading of healthcare facilities, facing job loss, companies having fear of bankruptcy, the stock market at the verge to collapse, and many more activities that held giving a strong impact on the economy. And now, countries are spending billions in hope of medical aid. Meanwhile, The global video game industry is progressing. When people adjusting with social distancing and minimum business activity, the gaming platform provides an engaging distraction for people at home. 

Over the last three-and-a-half-month, there is a huge growth in playing time and sales in the gaming sector. Many Gen-Zers and millennials have taken gaming to cope up with the time being caged at the hope or worrying about delays in exams and results. It has been observed that there is a 30% increase in gaming addiction. The global video game market has forecasted that it will have a revenue worth $159 billion in 2020, around three times the music industry revenue, and four times the box office revenue. India is among the top five mobile gaming market in the world. 

It has been observed that there is a clear link between the increase in gaming addiction in college students and examination as well as COVID related stress. The study published by the Indian Journal of Public Health, claims that post the lockdown 50.8% of the participants will spend more time gaming. 

The makers of popular games like Call of Duty and Fifa saw an amazing spike in the number of players during the pandemic, That has boosted the financial performance of Activision Blizzard and Electronic Arts, respectively. Asian game giants such as Nintendo and Tencent both saw a surge during the first quarter. And obviously, PUBG which is the most popular among the young gamers. Based on the data, it has been seen that there are around 22 lakh people playing PUBG. The second-highest is Minecraft that has been played by 8.2 lakh people, followed by Fortnite with 8.5 lakh people. Due to lockdown, Indians are also participating in a bunch of online tournaments as well. 

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Meanwhile, it has also been observed that platforms like Twitch, Youtube Gaming, Facebook gaming have also seen an increase in the growth with around 20% surge in the usage hours. At the current crisis, where people have a lot of time to spare, the activity of watching gaming video steams has become nearly as big as gaming itself. 

Most people see gaming as a way to cope with stress and their need to kill time. Young people spending a lot of time online and gaming cannot see how it is disrupting their routine in the form of addiction. Everyone knows that escaping from an addiction is not that easy. They believe that they can return to their habits once it is all over. Except, that’s not always the case.

More time spent online gaming cuts the time spent on other life activities such as self-care, exercise, etc. Worries about the disease and lack of social life including the exam stress made the young people bend towards the sense of community that online gaming can offer. Google has seen a significant increase in the search for online games before and after the lockdown. 

If someone was already inclined towards the gaming platforms, this lockdown and social distancing rules that want people to stay at home provide a favorable environment. 

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