Government partners with NIMHANS to study online gaming behaviors

Published on:

The Department of Consumer Affairs (DoCA) has started a collaborative effort with the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), Bengaluru, to investigate the disruptive impulse control behavioural patterns associated with online gaming, to safeguard digital consumers.

The release issued on PIB stated that the objective of this research initiative is to develop a predictive and pre-emptive model to protect the growing number of digital consumers engaged in online gaming activities.

A meeting headed by Rohit Kumar Singh, Secretary of the Department of Consumer Affairs, was organised on 4th March 2024, with the participation of key stakeholders including Anupam Mishra, Joint Secretary of the Department of Consumer Affairs, Pratima Murthy, Director of NIMHANS, and Manoj Sharma, Professor of Clinical Psychology at NIMHANS.

Secretary of Consumer Affairs highlighted the damaging effects of online gaming addiction while stressing its potential to induce social isolation and neglect real-life responsibilities. The study aims to establish a responsible digital consumption model specifically designed for online gaming, with the potential to apply it to other digital platforms in the future. It seeks to identify the real factors contributing to excessive digital consumption and devise interventions to predict, alert, and mitigate such behaviours.

As reported in Business Standard, Pratima Murthy, Director of NIMHANS, emphasized the necessity of collaborations with various organizations and institutions for data collection and analysis across different demographic segments such as age groups and socio-economic backgrounds. The study will examine existing interventions and coping mechanisms to prevent the progression of excessive digital consumption and promote healthy digital habits.

The anticipated outcomes of the research aim to create guidelines to protect consumers’ interests in online gaming but also provide valuable insights to the industry. These insights will aid in optimizing technology usage to mitigate risks, both economically and physically, associated with online gaming.

The collaborative effort between the Department of Consumer Affairs and NIMHANS is committed to addressing challenges in the digital landscape and ensuring the well-being of digital consumers. Through evidence-based research and practical interventions, the initiative seeks to create a safer and healthier digital environment for all.