Nepal decided to ban the popular online game PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (known as PUBG), citing a violent content that has a negative impact on children.
Sandip Adhikari, deputy director at Nepal’s Telecommunications Authority (NTA) told Reuters that the government ordered the ban because the game “is addictive to children and teenagers”.
South Korean firm Bluehole Inc has created PUBG. It is an extremely popular survival-themed battle game. Dozens of online players find themselves on an island and try to eliminate each other.
The Nepalese official said that the regulating authority asked all Internet service providers, mobile operators, and network service providers to block streaming of the game from Thursday. He admitted that there are no reports of incidents linked to the game. He said that some parents are concerned that the game distracts children from their studies.
India also banned the game for a short time, arresting students for playing PUBG. The ban came after a report for the suicide of a boy. His parents reprimanded him for playing the game rather than studying for an English exam.
Parents in the UAE ask for a ban on the game.
The topic of online gaming addiction has come to the forefront after the World Health Organization admitted that it is a mental health disorder.
According to WHO, a gaming disorder “is characterized by impaired control over gaming, increasing priority given to gaming over other activities to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other interests and daily activities, and continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences”.
For someone to diagnose gaming disorder, the behavior pattern must result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other areas of functioning and would normally have been evident for at least 12 months.