Earlier in the month, two Indian cities—Rajkot and Surat—announced a temporary ban on PUBG Mobile, as the battle royale game incited anger and violent behaviour among youth and young students get distracted and lose focus studies ahead of board exams. Now, two more cities Gir Somnath and Bhavnagar from same state Gujarat have followed to prohibit people from playing the PUBG Mobile.
The ban on PUBG Mobile is already in place and will continue till March 30 and if anybody found playing it on mobile, legal action will be enforced under the Section 188 of IPC (Indian Penal Code), which is disobedience to an order lawfully promulgated by a public servant.
The Police circular is very subjective and is open to many interpretations, as the people will won't be arrested just for playing the PUBG Mobile, but if found guilty of showing violent behaviour causing physical hurt or threat to human life, will be prosecuted under Section 188.
After reading several reports, what I could interpret from it is that public is advised if the police find you playing the PUBG Mobile and ask you to stop the game and turn off the phone, do it, as they say, don't argue or else risk ending up in the jail.
Though there is no proper scientific study on serious ill effects of PUBG Mobile or any battle royale game, there are actually several cases of violence and suicidal behaviour shown by school kids and also adults, particularly in India.
A few weeks ago, a student killed himself as his parents denied to buy a phone to play PUBG game. In a related development, a bridegroom attacked his fiancée's brother, as the latter could find the charger, as the former drained out hit phone battery while playing PUBG Mobile.
Last week, a 10th-grade kid stole Rs 50,000 from his father's bank account to make in-app purchases on PUBG Mobile and also bought a gaming controller-pad.
In China, Tencent Games has made it mandatory for the user to be aged 13 to be eligible to play the PUBG Mobile or else you have to take permission from elders to play it.
It will be better if the company brings similar initiatives in India and also tone down (wishful thinking) the violence in the PUBG Mobile.
In a related development, Tik Tok is also facing a similar threat from public representatives in India, as it is accused of threatening Indian culture and inciting perversion among youth.
Last week, Tik Tok added new safety feature-- Comments Filter--that will allow the user to block self-defined words being used on comments section by the viewers to avoid cyberbullying on the video sharing platform.