Suraj Alias Sarnam Verma, a 19-year old youth, allegedly killed his father, mother and sister by stabbing them in October 2018 in Delhi. Then he ransacked the house to make it look as if Suraj’s family members had been killed by burglars. When evidence nailed him for the crime, he was arrested. However, he did not show any remorse for his action.
On investigation, the police found that Suraj was the leader of a WhatsApp group comprising a few friends who bunked their classes and played a violent online game. He had grudges against his parents and sister, which made him take revenge on them, spurred on by the violent online game he played. To understand Suraj’s violent behaviour, and also to learn how to combat such behaviour from anyone known to us, we should understand what violent and murderous online games are and how they affect the behaviour of youth.
Disadvantage Of Online Games :
Online games are games which are played on the internet with a number of players playing the same game simultaneously at different geographical locations across the world. With the advent of the internet and smartphones, online games are becoming popular day-by-day. These games are based on various themes such as violence, sex, hatred, self-harm etc . Although these games allow users across the world to play and complete, they have a number of harmful effects on the youth. Some of these effects are addiction, violent behaviour, isolation, self-harm etc. Recent incidents of a number of youngsters taking their lives while playing the Blue Whale Challenge are a grim reminder of the deadly consequences of playing such games.
Steps To Prevent Online Games :
While it is difficult to prevent the youth from playing such dangerous games due to the online nature of these games, there are ways to protect the youth from becoming their victims. Parents, guardians, schools, media and the government can play a vital role in saving the vulnerable youth from this menace.
As the youth spend much of their time at home, the role of the parents in guiding and educating them is most vital. The parents are aware of the activities of their children and can perceive any change in their behaviour.
- The parents can guide their children on what is right and what is wrong. They also have the advantage of monitoring them and educating them about the negative consequences of Indulging in such games. However, they themselves need to be aware of the prevalence of such online games and their harmful effects so that they can keep a tab on their children’s activities.
- The role of schools and colleges in Sensitising the youth about the ill-effects of such games cannot be undermined. They can arrange seminars to educate the students about the dangers of playing such games. The issue should be brought up in the morning assembly in schools and information regarding it can be put up on banners or charts around the school. The counsellors present in school can also help students who are addicted to such games in overcoming the addiction. Parents can also be called to attend such seminars and counselling sessions. As most of the parents in urban areas are working, the information on the trends in such harmful games and spotting symptoms of such addiction among children can be sent to them via text messages and e-mails or conveyed to them in parent-teacher meetings. Measures such as these would greatly help in the early detection of such cases and prevent incidents of suicide and other violent crimes arising due to the playing of the online games.
- The media has an important role to play in curbing violent incidents and deaths happening due to the online games. Information about the prevalence of these deadly games, identifying the symptoms of those addicted to it and how to overcome such behaviour or addiction can be displayed and published in the print and electronic media. As the youth of today is hooked to social media, spreading the information about the ill-effects of these games on social media would make the youth cautious before indulging in them. Such displays can also include information about the government departments or NGOs which are helping students to overcome violent behaviour occurring due to indulgence in such games.
We have discussed the roles of parents, guardians, teachers, schools, media and the government in protecting the youth from the deadly online games prevalent today. However, the most important point in dealing with the issue is to make the youngsters aware that it is just a game, and risking one’s life for it is foolishness. The youth should also be taught to reach out to their parents, guardians or teachers it they find themselves trapped in any difficult situation arising out of playing such games.
The parents should also not hesitate in seeking medical or professional help if they find their children exhibiting the symptoms associated with indulgence in such games. Unless everyone unites to tackle this grave issue, it would be very difficult to make the youngsters feel safe and secure from the deadly clutches of these games.