With India banning China-developed apps, it seems that there is a global dispute with applications on where they are allowed to operate. Recently, Pakistan has also banned the app PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) after receiving multiple complaints stating that the shoot-em-up game is too addictive.
While that can be said about almost every trending game, PUBG is especially notorious and dangerous since it is currently linked to the suicide of a 16-year-old boy. According to News18, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority stated that the game has a “serious negative impact on (the) physical and psychological health of children.”
As of now, the game has been temporarily banned in the country and is awaiting a High Court hearing on 9 July.
The boy in question allegedly committed suicide after failing to complete a mission. According to authorities, they found his mobile phone on the bed with the PUBG game on. The public’s concern towards teenagers’ gaming habits exacerbated after news of this incident broke. The police in Lahore, where the boy lived, were the force that catalysed the move towards banning the game, as they were the ones who found the boy’s body and were ultimately disturbed by the incident to the point where they had to do something.
Malaysia has also done its fair share of rallying against the prevalence of battle royale mobile games such as PUBG. It was considered haram by the Mufti of Negeri Sembilan. Despite the claims, ex-Youth Minister Syed Saddiq defends the use of gaming, saying it has nothing to do with violence and is simply a form of entertainment.
In 2018, an Islamic Sharia professor in a university in Cairo said the game was an initiation tactic to get youths into ISIS.
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