What is PUBG?
PlayerUnknown’s Battleground, popularly known as PUBG was developed by PUBG Corporation which is a autonomous branch of the South Korean video game manufacturing company, Bluehole. It is essentially a multiplayer battle game and the story line of the game is based on the popular 2000 film called Battle Royale, a Japanese film that hit the box office with a major success rate in 2000.
Director Brendan Greene and Tae-seok Jang co-created PUBG and expanded it as an independent game, breaking records and making a massive fortune out of the game’s incredible success in 2017.
The Game’s story line goes like this: about one hundred players are left stranded on a deserted island, dropped there with the help of parachutes. The aim is to collect weapons and equipment that are scattered all over the island and kill others with the help of it, while trying not get killed themselves.
The last surviving player or team of players win the game. It made an initial release from Microsoft Windows with the help of Steam’s old access beta program. This was back in March of 2017. Soon PUBG made its full release in the month of December of the same year.
The game was released in several different portals by Microsoft Studios, such as Xbox One, Android and Apple iOS by the onset of 2018. PUBG is currently one of the best-selling and most-played video games of all time, its immense popularity has broken all records of previous multiplayer games of this generation. It has by far managed to sell over fifty million copies worldwide as recorded by the end of June 2018.
PUBG entertains more than 400 million players all over world which increased furthermore after the release of its more compact and portable mobile version, making the game even more user-friendly and convenient to play while on the go.
Gaming critics despite locating certain flaws and imperfections in the game play of PUBG, overall had given it mostly positive reviews due to it being so user-friendly, highly playable, easily approachable, simple and convenient for varied age groups, easily accessible and enjoyable as well as completely free of cost.
To add to its legacy, PUBG was the game that popularised this brand new gaming genre of battle royale, and even received several nominations for Game of the Year award. The game also contains high level HD graphics providing the players a next level gaming experience that is so realistic, that the players find it to be exceedingly addictive.
Controversy and Ban in India
With its booming launch all over the world in 2017, PUBG became a sensation as a battle royale game. Gamers found the gaming experience intriguing and exciting and extremely addicting. Its ground breaking popularity shook the world and India was also a part of it. However the game became the centre of controversy in India, and led to severe backlash.
Due to its highly addictive nature, non-players and parents of children began to slowly notice that the game was taking up much of the time in their children’s lives. They were neglecting their studies completely and spending long hours sitting in front of their computer screens or on their mobile phones, playing PUBG throughout the entire day.
The matter was getting more and more out of control as the days were passing by and soon it was taken to the game developers. Game developer Brendan Greene and Tae-seok Jang answered to the criticism faced from India by issuing a request to ban the game in the country in order to resolve all the arising problems. This suggestion from their side came in, in the form of an email attachment. In the sent email the developers stated:
“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. 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. We are honoured to have a passionate community of PUBG mobile players in India and globally and continue to welcome their feedback to make PUBG mobile the best game ever!”
Children skipping dinners to feed on “chicken dinners” on the mobile app of the game, and the heavy rate of addiction among players, spending time playing the game instead of doing any other constructive work, led to even governmental authorities to come at it and place their opinions about how the situation could be handled and how the youth could be saved.
Former State Information Technology minister of Goa, Rohan Khaunte stated at a government event that PUBG should be immediately curbed in the nation before the youth are completely captured by it and become a bunch of vegetables with no other capabilities other than sitting at their couches and gaming instead of contributing to the nation’s development in any way.
Stating the issue he said: “I am not aware of states banning PUBG but some law has to be made to ensure there is a restriction on it in Goa. PUBG has become a demon in every house. Students, instead of studying, are engrossed in playing PUBG.”
The game also faced the backlash that it did, due to it being associated with severe violence that were affecting the mental and psychological well being of the players, especially the children and youths. PUBG was banned in China in 2019 due its addictive nature and the harm it was causing to the youths of the society.
In India even the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR) made an appeal to the government of India to put a ban on games like PUBG, due to their encouragement of destructive behaviour and impact on the mental health of kids and youths which were primarily harmful and leading to the degradation of their psychological stability. PUBG was banned in multiple cities in India by November 2017.
In January 2018, activists all around the country began to seek national ban on the game so as to stop it from triggering violence among civilians playing the game. Furthermore in the month of March, 2017, India’s National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights appealed to the country’s Information and Technology Ministry, requesting them to take serious steps regarding the curbing of PUBG in India, if not put an outright ban on it.
Reasons for banning PUBG
Although various efforts being made by the government and several social activists for banning PUBG, all the efforts and action went in vain as pirated versions of the game was all around the web and taking all of them down was almost impossible. Hence even banning the game from Play store was futile. However banning PUBG is imperative as it does only harm and no good at all. The reasons are listed below:
The online game strains the eyes of the players due to being hooked in front of the computer or mobile screen for long hours.
- PUBG triggers acts of violence, murder, assassination and usage of weapons and guns.
- It is highly addictive and once a player starts playing it he gets completely engrossed in it and detached from rest of the world.
- It causes a deep and very harmful impact on the mental and psychological health of young children who are prone to being influenced easily.
- PUBG distracts students from studies by taking up much of their time.
- PUBG deteriorates the health of players and it makes them sit at one place for long hours crouching over their phone debarring them from all other physical activities and sports.
Any type of game, be it an android based game or a PC game, is no doubt a massive source of entertainment for the millennial, but we must remember that constructive forms of entertainment also existed in the 90’s and early 2000’s that didn’t include online games which harms the player’s psyche and triggers violent behaviour among them.
PUBG and any such similar type of game should hence be strictly curbed all over the world so that the youths of today don’t turn into couch-potatoes, giving up on their studies and becoming mere motionless machines sitting in front of their digital screens and typing away brainlessly throughout the day.