TN govt advised to rationalize gaming laws after no direct relation between suicide, online gaming

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The latest study from a leading Indian psychiatrist, Dr Sandip H Shah, has revealed to the Tamil Nadu government that a direct relation between suicide and online gaming cannot be established in a detailed representation of his independent research.

Tamil Nadu government had constituted a committee in order to introduce brand new legislation to regulate online gaming in the state, inviting inputs from various patrons, including the general public, parents, teachers, students, youth, psychologists, social activists, and online gaming service providers, to be submitted by the 12th of August.

In the wake of the government’s invitation, Dr. Sandip H. Shah, Professor of Psychiatry and Dean, Government Medical College, Panchmahals, Godhra, Shri Govind Guru University, put forward his conclusion from his recently concluded independent research on ‘Suicide and Online Gaming’. He stated that there are several complex factors driving the ideation of suicide and cannot be pinned down just to online gaming.

The study was peer-reviewed by Dr. Ajay Chauhan, MD, Medical Superintendent, Hospital for Mental Health, Ahmedabad, and concluded that there might be coincidences and correlations, but there is no direct reason to believe online gaming is the cause.

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Dr. Shah’s research was in the public interest and meant to advise governments against harsh legislation on limited or misinformation about online gaming. The research also indicated a lack of data to conclude that suicide has been caused by online gaming. It called for further studies on medical and scientific grounds to form a more rational regulation by the government.

“There isn’t sufficient data available both before and after online gaming was legalized to correlate suicide with online gaming,” the research concluded.

The research also sheds light on the aftereffects of poorly executed regulations based on misinformation. Unlike gambling platforms, online gaming is solely based on the user’s skills and knowledge conjuring a healthy and competitive environment and strengthening the cognitive abilities of players. Harsh regulations could push the community underground, leading to individuals facing potential stress and causing possible suicidal ideation from desperate situations.

Meanwhile, the primary outcome of the research indicates a need for a collaborative effort between regulators, private companies providing online gaming services, and the medical and scientific communities to make allowances for an educated regulation.