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Expressing concerns over serious addiction among children to various online games, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has asked Principals and heads of its affiliated schools to circulate an advisory prepared by the Department of School Education & Literacy (Ministry of Education) among parents and teachers.
As per CBSE, online gaming is very popular among children because of the challenges it throws at the players which tempts them to play more, leading to the addiction.
In its notice, the CBSE has said that the closure of schools due to pandemic has increased use of mobile and internet by children. “However, online gaming has many downsides. Playing online games lead to a serious gaming addiction which has been considered as a gaming disorder,” the notice read.
The online games are designed in a way that each level is more complicated and complex than the previous one. This causes a player to push him/her to the limits in order to progress in the game.
Therefore, playing online games with no restriction and self-limits leads many players to become addicted and are eventually diagnosed with gaming disorder.
The gaming companies also emotionally compel the child to buy more levels and almost force in-app purchases, the notice added.
Advisory to Parents and Teachers on Children's Safe Online Gaming
-Do not allow in-game purchases without parental consent. To avoid in-app purchases, OTP based payment methods may be adopted as per RBl guidelines.
-Avoid credit/debit card registration on apps for subscriptions. Place an upper limit on expenditure per transaction.
-Do not let children buy directly from the laptop or mobile they use for gaming.
- Advise children not to download software and games from unknown websites.
-Tell them to be aware of clicking links, images and pop-ups in the websites as they may contain a virus and harm the computer, and may contain age-inappropriate content.
-Advise them not to give personal information over the Internet while downloading games -They should never share personal information with people in games and on gaming profile.
-Advise them not to communicate with strangers, including adults, through web cam, private messaging or online chat, as it increases the risk of contact from online abusers, or bullying from other players.
-Advise them against engaging in game for long hours without taking a break considering health aspects and addiction.
-Help your child to protect their privacy online, get them to use a screen name (avatar) that does not reveal their real name.
-Use antivirus/spyware programs and configure web browsers securely using firewall.
-Activate parental controls and safety features on the device or in the app or browser as it helps restrict access to certain content and limit spending on in-game purchases.
-Notify if a stranger tries to start a conversation about something inappropriate or requests personal information.
-Check the age rating of any games your child is playing.
For more details, visit the official CBSE website. Click here for the notification and advisory.