Karnataka: Govt plans to control online gaming apps, protect youth from addiction

Published on:

In a session of Karnataka Legislative Assembly held on Monday, July 10, Health Minister Dinesh Gundu Rao has revealed that the state government is looking for ways to control online gaming platforms. It is expected that Home Minister G Parameshwara will take a call regarding the matter soon.

This move was made in order to minimize negative impact from these apps, especially the teenagers and youth. The assembly mainly focused on the popularity of online rummy games. Member of the Legislative Council DS Arun focused on the rampant celebrity advertisements. These advertisements influence many young people, who then get addicted and lose huge sums of money in most cases.

As reported by Republic World, the gaming companies have come forward against the decision, claiming that they are currently operating under the law. They said there wasn’t any form of violation.

Several cyber awareness programmes have also been created and shared on social media and through the police department in order to highlight the harm after getting addicted to online games. The move was also welcomed by the opposition which tells that everyone is ready to work together at least in case of online gaming addiction.

“This move by the government will be welcomed because many young people and working professionals are getting addicted to online gaming and falling into the trap of financial debts. These online games have no rules or regulations that can be very dangerous,” said BJP leader N Ravikumar.

Several states trying to curb ill-effects of online gaming

This is not the first attempt by the state or central authority(s) to create awareness for online gaming. Back in 2021 Rajasthan government issued an advisory to parents and teachers asking them to safeguard children from online gaming addiction.

The advisory was issued through Rajasthan Council of School Education, which suggested setting up an “internet gateway” which will monitor and log content accessed by children on the network.

In the same month, Kerala also announced digital de-addiction centres for the same problem. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that these centres will help children addicted to online games into the mainstream of society.

The central government through Ministry of Education also issued an advisory to parents and teachers along with a set of instructions that will help both the children and parents to prevent any fraud or excess gaming addiction.

In recent times, countless reports of people committing suicide and undergoing severe mental conditions have surfaced across various states. A cab driver from Pune district committed suicide as he underwent depression after losing Rs 20,000 in online rummy. On the other hand, a Bengaluru man took mental therapy after losing Rs 70 lakh in addiction of these apps.

Apart from Kerala, a de-addiction centre in Rohtak, Haryana also started providing mental therapy sessions to online gaming addicts. Thus, the Karnataka government’s decision to take control of online games seems to be preventing addiction rather than curing it later, thereby serving in public welfare at large.