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FPJ Legal: Delhi High Court directs Centre to formulate policy for protecting children from online game addiction

01:47 PM Jul 28, 2021 | ANI

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday directed the concerned authorities of the Central Government to decide the representation made by petitioners seeking direction to the Union of India to consider formulating a national policy to protect the children from online games addiction and also to constitute a regulatory authority to monitor and rate the content of both offline and online games.

A bench of Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh on last Thursday directed the Authorities of Ministry of Woman and Child Development and Ministry of Law and Justice to decide the representation made by the petitioner, according to the rules and regulation.

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The petitioners, Distress Management Collective (DMC), and trust through Advocates Robin Raju and Deepa Joseph stated that the petition has been preferred on receiving numerous complaints from parents who are concerned about their children getting addicted to online games which as a result show various psychological problems in them.

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Some recent news of children committing suicides or going into depression, and also committing crimes like theft due to online game addiction, compelled the petitioner organization to move the instant petition.

The plea said that it is quite alarming to note that children below the age of 10 years are also getting addicted to online games. "The pandemic period has posed a major problem in controlling and monitoring children from excessive gadget use. As classes are now online so parents are not in a position to reprimand children for being with a mobile phone like they did in the past. There are numerous studies that show the adverse impact of online games on the psyche of both young children (6-10 years) and Adolescents (11-19 years). A leading medical journal The Lancet in its research showED the effect of Media violence and youth aggression came to the conclusion that people are more likely to behave aggressively in the real world when they identify with a violent character," the plea states.

It further states that there is a need for schools to give emphasis to counseling sessions and periodic sessions regarding the drastic effects of getting addicted to online gaming.

The petition also intends to bring to the fore the role of Cyber Cell to tackle the menace of online game addiction and resultant monetary exploitation in some cases. There is thus a need for a national policy that lays emphasis on the role of schools and the Cyber Cell in tackling the issue.

"It is pertinent to note that the issue of game addiction has been seriously viewed by UNICEF and other Child Welfare Organisations across the Globe. It is worth noting that countries like the UK and other European Countries classify each game on the basis of Pan European Game Information (PEGI) ratings," the plea said.

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