India is really cracking down on Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds. The country further tightened the ban on the video game out of fear that ‘it is creating psychopaths.’
The PUBG fever has swept to many countries in Asia. Players from the United States and Japan really got into PUBG as well. But the game is facing more backlash from India’s traditionalists than it is elsewhere.
PUBG is a survival style competitive game where players face-off, just like in the Hunger Games. Other games such as Fortnite also follow the same formula but differs with its fantasy settings. PUBG on the other hand, happens to go for a more realistic theme than a fantasy one.
Battlegrounds has hundreds of thousands of global players face off, and fight to the death until one survivor remains.
The game is so popular that China’s Tencent Holdings Ltd. introduced a mobile version of the competitive game. Shortly afterwards, it became the most popular smartphone game in the world.
India and PUBG
When the game swept over India it received resistance right off the bat. Initially, multiple Indian cities banned PUBG, because it was affecting children’s grades. The other reasons to ban the game included children not paying attention to their surrounding.
People were even arrested in this regard (they did legally ban the game after all). This was followed by the National Child Rights Commission calling for a PUBG ban, due to its violent nature.
It was the Hindi newspaper, Navbharat Times that declared PUBG an “epidemic” that turned children into “manorogi,” or psychopaths. It claimed that children lost their mental balance due to the game.
“There are dangerous consequences to this game,…..Many children have lost their mental balance.”
Local politicians, parents and teachers blame the game for bullying, stealing and, in one Mumbai case, a teenager’s suicide.
A local minister went so far as to label the game ‘the demon in every house’.
Regulation vs Civil Liberty
Adults, specifically non-gamers, have been hating on video games for over two decades now.
Be it Grand Theft Auto or the current target PUBG, it is important to remember that at the end of the day, its just a game. Just like movies and music before it, these video games also come with their own ratings.
Last year, China had the most hardcore crackdown on video games. The country suspended approval of new titles and tightened scrutiny. It also vowed to fight against video game addiction and the adverse health effects that come with playing for many hours at end.
No one is denying the adverse effects of violent video games on developing children. That is why parental supervision is necessary. Furthermore, violent video games are always rated R, 18+ or PG, and parents are expected to play a more proactive role here.
China already has a PUBG ban on underage players.
The question is, do these bans extend to adults? Especially like India and China are doing right now?