PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, the popular battle royale game also widely known as PUBG, has become a sensation with over 200 million registered gamers. The game has more users than popular streaming platform such as Netflix and is being played by folks at home, at subway, at railway stations and even at schools. The hype around PUBG and the addition is so real that local and national governments around the world are taking note of it. Gujarat has now officially become the first state in India to ban the game from primary schools. The primary education department in the state has issued a circular that directs primary schools to ensure that a ban has been implemented against PUBG.
The circular issued by the state government directs District Primary Education Offices to ensure that necessary steps are being taken in order to ban the game completely from the premises of primary schools. The reason for the ban has been mentioned as the adverse effects these kind of games have on the young minds. Since PUBG Mobile was introduced by Tencent Games last year, the game has skyrocketed to become an addiction of sorts with people spending hours on end playing the game where they kill fellow players.
The success of PUBG, which has over 200 million players, has been turned into an esports event as well. The game was recently declared as the best game of 2018 on the Play Store by Google. The desktop version of the game received similar accolade by being one of the top grossing titles on Steam. The popularity of PUBG can be seen in the social culture as well with people starting PUBG themed restaurant and some going as far as to have a PUBG themed wedding as well.
While the game has reached new levels of popularity, the adverse effect it has on minds is still a less documented story. There have been instances of people losing mental stability after playing the game for several hours on a single stretch. Early this month, a report said that a fitness trainer in Jammu has lost mental balance after playing PUBG for 10 days. The doctor treating the fitness trainer said he is still influenced by the game and will take some time before gaining his normal mental state.
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This isn’t the first time that PUBG has faced a ban inside educational institution. Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT) announced a ban on the game inside its campus in an effort to keep students focused on education. However, this is the first time that a state has banned the game for adverse mental effects. The question will be whether other states will follow suit and impose similar ban on the game, which is becoming a new normal for Indian gamers.