PUBG Corporation’s PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds has been banned in several cities in India, with police threatening to arrest people who have been reported for playing the game.
The ban was initially set within Rajkot, but the ban was later extended to other cities, including Bhavnagar, and parts of Gir Somnath. The reason for the ban is that officials believe that the game is distracting youth from school and also encouraging kids to become violent.
The Quint reports that PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds was banned along with the Momo Challenge, which is basically a real life version of the internet dare game that was featured in the Emma Roberts movie, Nerve. The objective is to take on increasingly dangerous challenges until you either complete the entire game or commit suicide.
While The Quint states that the ban on PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds will extend up until March 30th, 2019, according to DNA India they’re reporting that the ban will extend up to April 30th, 2019, and possibly beyond.
They also quoted Rajkot police commissioner Manoj Agrawal, who explained exactly why the Momo Challenge and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds are banned in certain Indian cities…
“We issued the notification against both the games. Due to increasing violent behaviour of children and the youth, who were addictive to the game, we have imposed the ban.”
DNA India is also reporting that the bans have been sought by politicians from Gujarat since January 23rd, 2019 earlier this year. However, the Gujarat government want more than the temporary ban on the game, seeking a permanent prohibition on PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds in all of New Delhi.
According to RT.com, the police are threatening arrests with police announcements and Twitter posts, informing the community that PUBG is banned in various regions.
— Rajkot City Police (@CP_RajkotCity) March 7, 2019
The game would join other banned games in India, including the Blue Whale challenge, which is similar to the Momo Challenge, and Niantic Labs’ Pokemon Go.
Many gamers see this as the needle increasingly moving toward widespread censorship of various entertainment media products. We’ve seen censorship of video games escalate in recent times with fan-service on the PS4, along with anime and visual novel games on Steam, but now it appears violent video games are being targeted, too.
Many gamers now fear that this kind of censorship will eventually envelop all sorts of games across the creative spectrum, regardless of how benign the content might be, and with legislation being pushed forward by U.K., politicians to regulate creative game works before they’re released, those fears are certainly not unfounded.
(Thanks for the news tip J. Black)