PUBG Mobile Addiction Leads Teenager to Die of Starvation
We’ve covered a lot of news about the dangers of addiction, and in particular, how’s affecting the Hindi gaming scene. Today we’ve learned of a teenager in India, Andhra Pradesh who died of starvation playing PUBG Mobile. Instead of taking the time to stop and have meals with his family, he would skip meals for days and only play the mobile game. This is partially due to the COVID-19 lockdown, so he, like many others, is stuck inside with little to do. That time got filled with PUBG Mobile and other online games.
Our condolences and sympathies go to the family of Andhra Pradesh and all those whose lives these touches. Addiction to gaming is very serious and is something that needs greater addressing. Not just by government officials, but within households around the world.
The teenager in question was refusing to eat or drink, and would only spend time playing PUBG Mobile. The result? Severe dehydration, according to a report filed by The Hindu. In addition, the boy was also suffering from diarrhea when he was rushed to a hospital in Eluru. Unfortunately, he died while undergoing treatment at a local hospital.
Addiction is an Illness
This is far from the first time we’ve heard of a young person in India dying due to video game addiction. Either they take their own life or harm the financial well-being of their loved ones by stealing from them. In 2019, another teenager played PUBG Mobile for six hours straight and died of cardiac arrest. It was said that he collapsed after a hyperactive moment, yelling at the other players.
Something positive has come of this at least. The Crime Investigation Department set up a Cyber Peace Foundation, and the Cyber Crime Prevention against Women and Children. They also declared the month of August as “Cyber Safe Month”. Those are all well and good, but we would like to see something actually come of these movements.
A representative of the CID did speak to The Hindu and had this to say:
“Cyber offenders will exploit children by offering online games. In some cases, they are taking minors into their control and are using them for illegal activities like drug peddling.”
“The CID is organising a month-long awareness programme for students, parents, youth and the general public on different types of cybercrimes, including cyberstalking, bullying, honey traps, online prostitution, cyber grooming, e-commerce traps, job frauds, matrimony phishing, OTP frauds and other cyber offences,”
This is a good idea, don’t get us wrong. Awareness of the dangers of exploitation and addiction are very serious in young gamers. Adults aren’t safe either – many adults around the world have thrown money and mental/physical health to the wayside in the name of playing games non-stop. It is so incredibly important that at a young age, parents speak to their kids about moderation.
Perhaps if parents are more involved in their children’s gaming habits/lives at a young age, this could be curtailed. It’s also important for the adults in these teenagers’ lives to know that gaming isn’t wrong or bad. Don’t penalize or pressure them to never game. Just teach them early that it’s important to have a little moderation. To take a break, have a snack, do some schoolwork. Not every kid knows right out of the gate when to stop, and this is the result.
Unfortunately, that’s how situations like this come up. We feel terrible for the teen’s loved ones and friends in this time of sorrow. We can only hope that this trend scales down in India. It seems like it is incredibly prevalent there right now, and it’s a topic we will have to come back to discuss at greater length.