While the mobile version of Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) has been a smash hit among gamers in India, it has attracted a backlash from parents and police, who now want the “addictive” and “harmful” game banned for good.
Just ahead of the first anniversary of its release, Indian law enforcers are accusing the popular game of inciting violence and distracting kids from their studies, even pushing for a large-scale prohibition of the “battle-royal” style shooter.
Following numerous complaints by parents, a temporary ban on the mobile app was first announced by police in metropolitan Rajkot, with some other cities multiplayer-game soon following suit. While the current ban only extends until March 30, the police and children’s rights watchdog are petitioning New Delhi to ban the game altogether.
Rajkot Police Commissioner Manoj Agrawal’s statement included instructions to turn in those caught defying the ban to the police for prosecution, which could result in gamers being slapped with fines or up to a month in jail.
Notably, police are not included in the ban – because they NEED to play in order to investigate how dangerous and bad the game is, which could of course raise theories that all this is an elaborate way of narrowing competition.
The restrictions were met with heated criticism from fans, many of whom noted that PUBG is not particularly violent compared to other titles and, in any event, is hardly a critical concern for a country facing some other pretty serious health hazards.
Some gamers were outright defiant over the incident, asserting that they would find a way to play regardless, or even boycott the political process to show their disapproval.
The game’s developers have been made aware of the situation and promised to look into the negative feedback and take appropriate action, including adding features to help people enjoy the game in a “rewarding and responsible manner.”
This isn’t the first time that they’ve received complaints. During Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s annual meeting with students and parents, one mother complained directly to India’s leader about her son’s addiction to online games. Modi responded after a short pause, asking: “Is this the PUBG issue?” This prompted laughter among the audience about the fact that the PM already seemed up-to-speed on the culprit.
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