NortonLifeLock, a Cyber Safety company, unveiled results of the third edition of its India Digital Wellness Report. This is an online survey of over 1,500 city-based Indian adults, which explores the growing popularity of online gaming among smartphone users in the country. The report reveals that 87 percent of respondents believe that online gaming takes a toll on their physical and mental well-being. About 76 percent of respondents feel that addiction to action games lead to changed behavior and can increase depression and anxiety levels. Whereas 70 percent of respondents feel that children connecting with strangers while playing games online can lead to cyber bullying, harassment, and violence. Also Read - OnePlus has the most loyal customers in India at 67 percent: Report
Almost 73 percent of the parents in the survey say that their children prefer shooting and adventure games, while 21 percent say that their children show a preference for casino and card games. There is a sense of growing concern among parents as 45 percent of respondents say they find it difficult to control their children’s smartphone usage. Interestingly, 81 percent of the respondents who put a check mechanism on children’s usage of smartphones feel they have not been effective in controlling the gaming time, as the children of 42 percent of these respondents play games online for more than two hours every day. Also Read - Airtel denies report of Amazon's $2 billion deal; says no such proposal in talks
However, online gaming seems to have some positive impact, too, on users according to the NortonLifeLock report. About 81 percent of respondents feel that multiplayer online games enhance teamwork skills, while 70 percent of respondents feel that playing online games can make people smarter, as they improve brain coordination and reaction.
“People could be drawn to online gaming for entertainment, but data shows that it is not all about fun and games. The virtual playing field comes with risks such as identity theft, cyber bullying, phishing, and credit card theft, to name a few,” said Ritesh Chopra, Director, NortonLifeLock, India. “It is interesting to note that children follow the same patterns as their parents when it comes to online gaming. Therefore, it becomes extremely important for parents as well as children to be educated about the threats that can compromise their safety and privacy in this complex digital world. ‘Play well and stay safe’ seem to be the new mantra in these challenging times.”
Females and GenX dominate the online gaming space
The online gaming space, largely perceived to be male dominated, seems to be dominated by females instead. About 88 percent of female respondents find online games to be the best pastime as compared to 86 percent of their male counterparts. Interestingly, 61 percent of female respondents are willing to skip meals, sleep and other activities for online games, as opposed to 45 percent of male counterparts.
Meanwhile, NortonLifeLock report suggests about 92 percent of Gen X respondents consider online gaming to be the best pastime, as compared to 88 percent of millennials and 81 percent of Gen Z respondents. About 65 percent of Gen X respondents are willing to skip their meals, sleep and other activities as opposed to 55 percent of millennials and 38 percent of Gen Z respondents. However, 68 percent of Gen Z respondents prefer online games to social interactions or going outdoors, as compared to 62 percent of Gen X respondents and 64 percent of millennials.
Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities tend to give more preference to online gaming to social engagement
About 93 percent of respondents in Lucknow and 90 percent of respondents in Bhubaneswar provide their children with access to play online games as compared to 85 percent of respondents in Delhi/NCR, 78 percent respondents in Mumbai and 76 percent respondents in Bangalore. According to the findings of the report, 96 percent of respondents in Lucknow, 93 percent of respondents in Chandigarh, and 89 percent of respondents in Bhubaneswar consider online gaming to the best pastime as compared to 87 percent of respondents each in Delhi and Mumbai, and 91 percent of respondents in Bangalore. Furthermore, respondents in metros, Tier-1 and Tier-2 cities show a similar pattern, preferring online games to social gatherings or outings – Delhi (81 percent), Mumbai (70 percent), Bangalore (66 percent), Lucknow (79 percent), Chandigarh (68 percent) and Bhubaneswar (70 percent).