The Gujarat government, over the years, has become known for implementing significant bans on its citizens. Going in line with its history, the state has now recently banned the globally popular video game PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) in primary schools, fearing mass addiction and adverse effect on academics and health.
The news comes from the Department of State Primary Education when it issued a circular, which was in turn recommended by the Gujarat State Commission for Protection of Child Rights. The circular addressed the District Primary Education Officers to take preventive steps to implement this ban in primary schools.
Previously, the northern state of Jammu and Kashmir had also received a request to ban PUBG by a student body from the state, which had blamed the game for weak exam results. While the Gujarat government, in its circular, didn’t mention a specific version of PUBG, but it is most likely referring to PUBG Mobile and not the PC versions.
Jagruti Pandya, chairperson of Gujarat Child Rights body said, “The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) had sent a letter to all the states and recommended a ban on the game. All the states are required to implement it. Looking at the negative effects of the game, we had recently sent a letter to the state government recommending a ban on the game.”
PUBG has surged in popularity so much in the last year that saw over million players signing up to it from various devices like smartphones and tablets. Thousands of teenagers from metros and villages alike play the game continously for hours. The game now even has an esports tournament in line for 2019. The PC version of PUBG was elected as one of the top grossing titles on Steam and the mobile version saw itself as the best Android game in 2018.
The game was developed and published by the PUBG Corporation back in 2017, a subsidiary of South Korean gamedev company Bluehole. Brendan ‘PlayerUnknown’ Greene had created the game, inspired by the 2000 Japanese film Battle Royale. Coming back to the ban, an acclaimed south Indian university – Vellore Institute of Technology – had also imposed a ban on the game last year in an effort to keep its students focussed in academics. Some players have even become traumatised and injured themselves from the game.
Our two cents on the issue are that authoritative force has always resulted in public outrage and chaos. People almost always find other ways to indulge in their addiction anyhow. Problems like internet and video game addition, especially when it comes to kids, should be solved amicably and the government should help them recover and rehabilitate, which is why the concerned departments exist.
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