If you are playing online or video games just for fun. No problem. One can make friends around the world and learn many skills. But if it changes one’s behavior and attitudes then one must realize that it has become an addiction and it is time to slow down.
The Sultanate of Oman has many avid gamers who actively pursue games without becoming addicted.
All of them agree that it is just a game and not to let it get at them and the teammates can tend to be toxic with deafening chats. “Just mute your mic or end the game,” is their suggestion.
Rhea Menon started with Guild Wars 2 but finally realized that gaming is not a ‘life-sucking addiction.’
“I have made countless new friends around the world, become more confident in my communication skills, and learned to focus more,” she says and adds that everything should be done in moderation including games.
Eventually, it took a toll on her body, her sleep and she would lose out on time which she could have used productively. Rhea also tried to budget her gaming to an hour or two a day, and though it was difficult at first, she would try to remember that she could play matches the next day too, without feeling guilty.
Filipino siblings Francis Albert P Del Rio and Ariana Jasmine are good gamers, especially Francis. He is part of the Fighting Game Community (FGC) in Oman and streams games to relax. He however warns that “it is pretty bad if you do not manage your games well as time.” He plays a lot takes a break for dancing, exercise, music, and for family.
Ariana, who is mostly into mobile games like Pokémon Unite and Rhythm, says these games can be addictive. As she is a senior at Sri Lankan School Muscat, she however focuses more on studies and well-being. She has set a time limit for her playtime like for 30 minutes to reduce screen time which helps her release stress after a hard day’s work.
Sri Lankan Emad Shifan, Ariana’s school friend, is into Lotta Gamers and Discord Server. “Responsible gaming is not a physical challenge but more of a mental one. If you feel like you are getting addicted, it is always your responsibility to take action.”
Aafia Imran Aman, a Grade VIII student of Indian School Al Wadi Al Kabir (ISWK), says gaming has become a major issue among teenagers. “Gaming sensibly is something that the users should think about on their own as most games are fascinating and entertaining.”
Aafia says many of her friends are addicted to new games like PubG, Fortnight, Among Us, and Brawl Stars. She advises that the best way out to help such gaming addicts is to have ‘strong willpower and setting limits.’ “They must keep a proper gaming time and restrict themselves. You must be able to delete or switch off your game whenever necessary according to your schedule because that is what genuinely means to balance your work and play time, while setting your priorities straight.”
However, 23-year-old Marwa D’souza, an Indian student of BBA disagrees. She launched ‘Sips N’ Stories’ in Al Khoud and prefers to popularise board games instead of video games.
Marwa views the advantages of board games far outweigh those of video gamers as they have a lot to teach. “The games teach us how to be patient, apply our minds correctly, be civilized and help us to work together.”