It’s not uncommon for governments around the world to express their concern over video games affecting children, with Indian officials particularly concerned over the violence and addictive nature of PUBG Mobile. This has caused some cities to ban the game, resulting in multiple arrests across the country for those that haven’t complied.
Last week, Rajkot City Police announced its ban on PUBG Mobile and internet hoax Momo under section 188 of the Indian Penal Code, lumping violations in with “obstruction, annoyance or injury.” This could see people punished with up to a month in prison and a fine, should they disobey the new law.
The ban is intended to stop the unnecessary promotion of violence within PUBG Mobile specifically, as well as limit the exposure of the addictive, portable game. A number of areas have adopted the ban as a precautionary measure, including the Bhavnagar and Gir Somnath districts. So far, 16 people have been caught in breach of the ban and are currently being processed by the system.
“It is a bailable offence,” explains Police Commissioner Manoj Agrawal to The Indian Express. “People have been booked but there is nothing like arrest in it. In the procedure, they will be shown as immediately bailed out by police. The case will go to the courts and there will be a trial for not following the notification issued.”
The escalation against PUBG Mobile follows a letter from an 11-year-old, calling for the ban to extend beyond the primary schools it was already implemented in. It is indicated that video game addiction is considered a larger problem in India, causing authorities to take drastic measures to ensure the safety of its people.
“We appreciate the support and trust given to us by our PUBG Mobile players. While we strive to deliver the best possible gaming experience to our fans, we also believe that it is extremely important for us to be a responsible member of the gaming ecosystem,” PUBG Corp explained in response to Eurogamer’s enquiry.
“To this end, we constantly work and shall continue to work with different stakeholders, including parents, educators and government bodies, and listening to their feedback on what we can do to enhance the overall PUBG Mobile experience. To foster a healthy and balanced in-game environment, we are developing numerous new features and enhancements which enables us to provide an environment for players to enjoy PUBG Mobile in a rewarding and responsible manner.”
KitGuru Says: I can certainly understand the concern over addictive technologies, especially with the sheer growth of mobile gaming, but I can’t see why PUBG Mobile is the only target. Hopefully those caught playing the game aren’t punished too harshly when further research is needed into the area.