Gujarat has officially banned the popular online multiplayer battle royale game, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, popularly called PUBG from the primary schools. In a circular, Gujarat's primary education department directed primary schools to ensure that ban on PUBG is implemented. As per the Gujarat government, playing PUBG has an adverse effect on young minds. The state primary education department's circular was put forward after a suggestion by the Gujarat State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, said officials.
The circular said the ban was essential as children were getting addicted to the game and it was "adversely affecting their studies". Gujarat governments' ban of PUBG seems to be on the grounds of the upcoming board examinations in the state.
PUBG has taken over the Indian mobile gaming world and has several young minds hooked to it. The dirt cheap 4G rates has made the adoption of the game easier and PUBG's mobile version has become the most downloaded game in India. The popularity had led to several competitions and esports tournaments. PUBG Mobile recently got selected as the best game on Android for 2018 while the PC version was elected as one of the top grossing titles on Steam, a digital distribution platform for purchasing and playing video games.
However, the popularity of the game has a darker side to it. Some academic institutions have claimed direct correlation between the violent game, like PUBG, and the mental health of the kids. This has led to several schools and colleges banning the game on their campuses. Late last year, Vellore Institute Of Technology too had banned PUBG on its campus.
Meanwhile, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has recommended a ban on the game across the country.
"The NCPCR had sent a letter to all the states and recommended a ban on the game. All the states are required to implement it. Looking at the negative effects of the game, we had recently sent a letter to the state government recommending a ban on the game," said Jagruti Pandya, chairperson of the Gujarat child rights body.
Edited By: Udit Verma