The authorities in Rajkot in the state of Gujarat issued a ban on the battle royale game Pubg Mobile after the game was accused of having negative effects on underage kids. The game was banned by Police Commissioner Manoj Agrawal on March 6 who released a notification that read, “It has come to our notice from various media that PUBG game, MOMO challenge is leading to a violent attitude among youth. The game is also having an impact on studies as well as behavior, conduct, and language of children and youth… Keeping in mind public safety security and to maintain law and order, I hereby impose a ban on playing PUBG game/MOMO challenge.”
Following this 12 case were registered against people playing the game despite the ban being imposed and there were at least 10 arrested for violating the ban. Now, Pubg Mobile team has put out a statement about the game and how the team will be handling the situation that has arisen.
The statement reads “PUBG MOBILE is a game. It is meant merely for entertainment and should be enjoyed in a healthy and responsible manner. In consonance with our endeavor to continue promoting responsible gaming experience, we are working on the introduction of a healthy gameplay system in India to promote balanced, responsible gaming, including limiting play time for under-aged players. We were thus surprised to learn that local authorities in a few cities have decided to impose a ban on playing our game. We are working to understand the legal basis of such bans, and hope we can have a constructive dialogue with relevant authorities to explain our objectives and that they withdraw the prohibition. To PUBG MOBILE players, we want to assure you that we are on your side and we will try our best to find a reasonable solution”.
Pubg Mobile has been facing criticism in India as parents complain about its addictive nature which has led kids to divert their attention from studies. Tencent Games has imposed a parental control on Pubg in China in order to curb the alleged “gaming addiction and cyberbullying” promoted by the game.
Moreover, Delhi Commission For Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR) had issued an advisory to the Directorate Of Education (DOE) and Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) asking schools to prevent children from developing the online games that are “full of misogyny, hate, deceit, and vengeance…”.
Earlier this year, Pubg Mobile was banned in primary schools in Gujarat and an 11-year old sought out a ban on the game in Maharashtra from the state government.
n the letter, he said that this is an “appeal to forthwith ban online game PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds [PUBG] as it promotes immoral conduct such as violence, murder, aggression, looting, gaming addiction, and cyber-bullying”. If the game is not banned. “I will be compelled to seek appropriate legal [civil and criminal] proceeding as per law; naturally at your cost and consequences”, Ahad further wrote in the letter.
In another incident, a 19-year old hung himself to death when his family refused to buy a ₹37,000 smartphone to play Pubg. The mobile version of the game has over 30 million daily active players.