Rashmi Rekha Das

Odisha has highest number of mobile gamers, according to a report published by gaming platform Mobile Premier League (MPL). With 55 per cent growth in mobile gamers, Odisha topped the chart in the country.

Bhubaneswar recorded a 1,652 per cent jump in the number of mobile gamers. Most importantly, it is believed that children and youths have largely fallen prey to mobile gaming.

Also, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Himachal Pradesh have seen significant increase in mobile gamers in 2022.

As per the MPL data, Odisha was followed by Punjab which recorded 53 per cent growth, Tamil Nadu 42 per cent, Puducherry 38 per cent, and Himachal Pradesh 23 per cent on a year-on-year basis.

It is learnt that Ludo Dice, Snakes & Ladders, Carrom, Fruit Dart, Block Puzzle and Poker were some of the top games in 2022.

“This growth is testament to the extensive popularity of mobile gaming beyond the big cities” the report claimed.

Meanwhile, these statistics have become a cause of concern for parents.

Concerned over the fact, the Childline and State Commission for Protection of Child Rights have decided to launch awareness drives for parents and children.

Childline Director Benudhar Senapati said, “Children also fall prey to crimes due to mobile gaming. Besides, they also become victims of cyber sexual abuse. We have reached an alarming situation. Thus, we need to make parents aware to stop this trend.”

State Commission for Protection of Child Rights Chairman, Mandakini Kar said, “Children have become so much attached to cell phones that they cannot think of living their life without mobile phones. Parents need to play a greater role if they want their kids to have a better future. Our Commission will take action in this regard and start creating awareness in schools.”

Sasmita Dalai, mother of a Bhubaneswar-based student said, “Parents were forced to give mobile phones to their wards to attend online classes during the Covid lockdown. Today’s youths even commit crimes after becoming addicted to cell phones.”

Last year, India became the largest consumer of mobile games in the world recording over 15 billion downloads, as per a report by Lumikai, a gaming-focused venture capital fund.