Mobile games have taken over India and not everyone is thrilled about it. Commonly seen as a waste of time, mobile games don’t exactly have the best rapport with Indian households. In a country, where good education and well-paying jobs are respected, many (especially parents) feel that playing mobile games is only a leisure activity and nothing more. However, there are certain types of games that have attracted even more controversies than usual.
If you haven’t already guessed it, we’re referring to popular games like PUBG, Free Fire, Valorant, Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI) etc. While mobile games like Candy Crush, Ludo, Subway Surfers, Clash of Clans, etc. are more commonly seen as being harmless and casual fun, it’s the ones that have a certain degree of violence in them that seem to be a cause for concern for a majority of Indians.
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Games like Free Fire or BGMI, although different, have a common theme to them – kill or be killed (virtually, of course). These games fall under the battle royale genre which in recent years have become increasingly popular. A battle royale game is an online multiplayer video game genre that blends last-man-standing gameplay with elements of a survival game. Usually, these games are played among groups of friends as they offer fun social interaction online apart from the entertainment aspect. During a period when all forms of social activity were limited to online, these games offered the younger population means of entertainment and distraction from the pandemic.
It’s hard to talk about controversial battle royale games without mentioning PUBG Mobile. PUBG or PlayerUnknown’s Battleground is a battle royale game developed by the South Korean gaming giant Krafton. PUBG climbed up the popularity charts at a rapid pace and became an utter favourite among players. Even though PUBG Mobile became India’s most downloaded gaming app in 2020, it received a lot of backlash from concerned parents and government officials. Many were unhappy about the game’s depiction of violence and the fact that kids were hooked on it or in other words, addicted.
The game was the centre of debate on addiction and the dangers of violent mobile games. When the government of India finally decided to ban the game in September 2020, parents were relieved in a way. However, while the youth site generation gap is the reason for their parents’ concerns, one question still remains, are these games truly bad?
While there have been studies stating that violent games can make kids more aggressive than usual, it would be a bit too extreme to say that playing mobile games are outright bad. Here, the key lies in moderation. Anything done in excess can be harmful or dangerous. Remember the famous quote, “Too much of a good thing is a bad thing.” So yes, mobile games like Free Fire and PUBG are fun and enjoyable, but it doesn’t hurt to play in moderation.
Nowadays, mobile games have become more than just games played on a mobile screen. They have taken a life of their own with esports being thrown into the mix. Since the past few years, video or mobile games and any content related to it like esports, live streaming, etc. have scaled up. This has proven to be a great opportunity for many youngsters who have taken their passion for gaming and made a career as a content creator or an esports athlete. The positive side to these games is that they are providing opportunities and squashing preconceived notions. Gone are the days when gaming was just another way to spend time, now it has become a career option. So, parents may have a right to be concerned about their kids getting addicted to these games but at the same time need to look at the possible positive impact these games have.
Donna Amo is a writer at Gutshot Magazine. She is a graduate from Sophia College of Women, Mumbai with a degree in English Literature. When this October born foodie is not writing content or poetry, she spends her time laughing at memes or watching series. Based out of Mizoram, she is drawn to all things nature and has a soft spot for puppies.
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