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Govt discusses with NIMHANS for research on digital consumers of online gaming

By TIOL News Service

NEW DELHI, MAR 05, 2024: THE Department of Consumer Affairs (DoCA), Govt. of India in collaboration with the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) Bangalore proposes to undertake a research on the disruptive impulse control behavioural patterns of digital consumption that may cause vulnerabilities. In this regard a Meeting was held on 4.3.24 under the Chairmanship of Rohit Kumar Singh, Secretary Department of Consumer Affairs, which was also attended by Anupam Mishra, Joint Secretary, Department of Consumer Affairs,  Dr. Pratima Murthy, Director NIMHANS and Dr. Manoj Sharma, Professor of Clinical Psychology, NIMHANS took part in the discussion.

Secretary(CA) observed that online gaming addiction leads to social isolation and neglect of real-life responsibilities. It often involves compulsive gaming behaviour and can have detrimental effects on mental and physical health. Online gaming can consume significant amounts of time and money, leading to neglect of other important activities and financial strain. Secretary(CA) outlined the purpose of the study which is to build a responsible digital consumption model based on knowledge, consumption and practices, currently focused on  online gaming but which can also be scaled to digital social media or any other online platform subsequently.  Further, the study would identify the underlying factors of excessive consumption of online content and based on the examination of these factors, a framework could be created to predict, alert, and intervene with appropriate coping mechanisms too. The study will provide guidance to consumers to ensure optimum use of technology and minimise risk both economical and physical.

Director, NIMHANS outlined the collaborations to be needed with different organisation/institutions/authorities for collection of data, analysis of the same segment-wise i.e. age groups and socio-economic strata of the consumers etc. and finding out some of the existing interventions and coping mechanisms for mitigating progression to excessive consumption etc. Further to formulate some mechanisms to promote healthy digital habits and prevent excessive consumption. Director, NIMHANS also expressed her views that the project is necessity of the time.

The findings of the research, would not only provide policy inputs for framing of the Guidelines for protecting the interests of the consumers in online gaming, but also to industry on their behaviour to ensure optimum use of technology to minimise the risk.


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