There have been numerous reports of PUBG addiction in the last few months and we've even seen people resorting to physical harm after getting addicted to the game. A recent report by the Quartz states that a PUBG fan spends more than 8 hours in a week on an average on the game.
Institutions have sent out circulars asking for a complete ban on the game, and people have even sent requests to the government for initiation of a ban. While we'd laugh at a ban, the situation is actually getting serious. More than 120 cases of PUBG addiction were registered at Services for Healthy Use of Technology (SHUT) clinic in National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS).
Games are supposed to be a source of entertainment, and getting hooked onto them at the cost of work or studies should never be a choice. The symptoms of addiction include deprivation of sleep, loss of real life interests, and subjectively lower attendance along with poor academic performance.
If you're a victim of the game's addiction, here are a few steps you can take to ensure healthy usage of technology.
Firstly, you need to start accepting responsibility and know that you are addicted to the game. We cannot solve an issue without acknowledging its existence. Secondly, you have to understand the impact it's having on your day to day life. Are your studies getting affected due to the game? If you're working, has your performance and focus at work changed?
If the answer is yes, start thinking about your other hobbies and activities. PUBG was launched nearly a year back, what was your entertainment back then? How did you spend time refreshing yourself? Finding healthy alternatives to passing time can help in distancing yourself from the game.
You also need to stop blaming the game for captivating you. The phone, the game, the developer etc. aren't responsible for getting you hooked. And no, we don't mean to say abandon the game completely. Overconsumption of anything is hazardous, draw a line between entertainment and addiction. Set yourself time limits and follow them. A good way to understand how much time you've wasted is to keep a track and calculate how many hours you've lost in a week.
Also, don't be embarrassed to ask for help. Share the issue with your close friends and family and ask them to give a hand. PUBG could also be a distraction you've chosen because of other stressful situations in life.
Lastly, even technology can help you out thanks to rising awareness of technology addiction. Both, Google and Apple have recognised that mobile phone addiction in the modern world is a serious problem and are trying to bring a viable solution. If you game on smartphones, you can easily follow the below steps to self reuglate your gaming addiction:For Android
Last year, Google launched the Digital Wellbeing program with Android Pie update and it aims to help you reduce your smartphone usage. All you need to do is download the app from Play Store, and head to the "Settings" menu.
Scroll down and tap "Accessibility", you'll come across two splash pages. The hub has a circle at the top, and the number in the middle shows how long the screen has been turned on. With various colours, the circle shows the apps you spend the most time on. Using these analytics, the system knows which apps you use the most and it tracks your usage over a period of time.
Now, you can use the "App Timer" to restrict usage within a certain period of time. Let's say you mark PUBG for "30 minutes", after 30 minutes of gameplay, the app will minimize and a popup appears saying you've hit your allotted screen time. Even the app icon will turn grey indicating it's not available, and taping it would open a screen reminding you about App Limits.
Lastly, you can set a "Wind Down" mode that basically makes your phone go grey-scale and the Do Not Disturb mode is automatically switch on. Even a blue light filter is switched on to help you actually wind down to sleep. All you need to do is set a time period, for example 10PM to 6AM. The phone knows that's your sleep cycle and winds down the phone to prevent you from using the phone.For iOS
Even iOS has a similar feature called Screen Time and it's natively supported on iOS 12. Just go to the "Settings" app and scroll down to "Screen Time". Switch on the feature and it'll start collecting usage logs in the background. You can see when you used your phone, on which apps, and how for long for. You can also see how the overall time you spent on your phone compares to the average.
To set up "App Limits", just hit "Add Limit", choose a category, and set your timer. When you hit the wall, Screen Time will let you know with a full-screen notification. Assume this to be your warning message since the notification gives you a ignore option and 15-minute extension.
Unlike Android's Digital Wellbeing, you can select a particular app and need to select a category like social media or gaming. It has a "Downtime" feature that will restrict usage of external apps within the set period and only a few stock apps will be accessible.
These are just a few tools that'll help you remind yourself, "You're playing too much!"