Females showing more interest in online gaming, willing to skip meals to play: Survey

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on June 09, 2020

The online gaming space, largely perceived to be male-dominated, seems to be dominated by females instead. According to a recent survey, about 88 per cent of female respondents find online games to be the best pastime as compared to 86 per cent of their male counterparts.

Interestingly, 61 per cent of female respondents are willing to skip meals, sleep and other activities for online games, as opposed to 45 per cent of male counterparts.

Meanwhile, about 92 per cent of Gen X respondents consider online gaming to be the best pastime, as compared to 88 per cent of millennials and 81 per cent of Gen Z respondents.

The survey was conducted by NortonLifeLock Inc, a platform that caters to consumer cyber safety. The platform unveiled the results of the third edition of its India Digital Wellness Report – 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 survey mentioned that 87 per cent of people believe that online gaming takes a toll on their physical and mental well-being. About 76 per cent of respondents feel that addiction to action games lead to changed behaviour and can increase depression and anxiety levels.

While 70 per cent of respondents feel that children connecting with strangers while playing games online can lead to cyberbullying, harassment and violence.

Almost 73 per cent of the parents in the survey say that their children prefer shooting and adventure games, while 21 per cent say that their children show a preference for casino and card games.

There is a sense of growing concern among parents as 45 per cent of respondents say they find it difficult to control their children’s smartphone usage. Interestingly, 81 per cent 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. Children of 42 per cent of these respondents play games online for more than two hours every day.

However, online gaming seems to have some positive impact, too, on users. About 81 per cent of respondents feel that multi-player online games enhance teamwork skills, while 70 per cent of respondents feel that playing online games can make people smarter, as they improve brain coordination and reaction.

Commenting on the survey, Ritesh Chopra, Director, NortonLifeLock, India said: “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.”

“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.”

About 65 per cent of Gen X respondents are willing to skip their meals, sleep and other activities as opposed to 55 per cent of millennials and 38 per cent of Gen Z respondents. However, 68 per cent of Gen Z respondents prefer online games to social interactions or going outdoors, as compared to 62 per cent of Gen X respondents and 64 per cent of millennials.

Published on June 09, 2020

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