PUBG Mobile continues to be a controversial, conversation sparking, eye-popping and a head-spinning topic all across the globe, especially in India.
Since PUBG Mobile launched for free in the country it has been stirring attention towards itself for all the wrong reasons. As the situations were getting just a bit calmer, a lawyer based in Chandigarh(India) apparently signed a PIL, making an inevitable connection of this battle royale game to drugs.
In his PIL statement, Advocate HC Arora talked about how this online free-to-play video game is becoming the cause of students losing interests in studies as well as an increased inclination towards aggressiveness and depression.
School going children who are losing interest in studies have become addicted to the game. The parents of such children are helpless. In case they insist the children to stop playing it, they become aggressive and go into depression.
PUBG Mobile has garnished a miraculous player count in India, thanks to its free-to-play nature. It has also, however, produced a plethora of thought provoking incidents that makes one wonder whether the availability of this video game in the country is a bane or a boon.
Last year, we received a number of reports regarding the insane rise in young addicts in the form of PUBG players in the country. In one of these incidents, a 25-year-old young adult succumbed to a stroke and two heart attacks which cost him his life. This horrific conclusion was the result of dehydration and a number of other factors that involved long hours of physical inactivity.
Another incident involved a 20-year-old being so absorbed in his game that he ended up gulping a bottle of chemicals rather than the bottle of water, both of which were in his bag as he was traveling to someplace via a train.
There has been a significant increase in the number of such egregious incidents in the country since last year, some which also involved suicide, a failed marriage and much more.
Video game addiction, like any addiction, is an actual thing recognized by WHO. In recent years video games have become much more mainstream which, in result has made it more accessible to the wider public.
According to a study regarding Internet gaming disorder, it is found that only about 1-3% of the total audience suffers from video game addictions. Now, this is common with any kind of addictions out there and is not necessarily a thing that can be controlled.
Blaming video games for violence and that it causes an increase in aggressive and uncontrollable nature is however not justifiable in any way. An article by the NY Times states that “there is no direct connection between violence portrayed in video games and the actual committing of violence in real life.”
Antonin Scalia, an American Lawyer also stated that no study could prove the role of violent video games in committing a violent act by a minor.
These studies have been rejected by every court to consider them, and with good reason: They do not prove that violent video games cause minors to act aggressively, They show at best some correlation between exposure to violent entertainment and minuscule real-world effects, such as children’s feeling more aggressive or making louder noises in the few minutes after playing a violent game than after playing a non-violent game.
Banning any kind of activities that are prone to addiction is not the solution. There are other ways to prevent minors or young adults from overindulgence or abuse of the product whatsoever it may be.
Parents or guardians need to understand the philosophy behind why these games are making their children addictive, rather than taking a drastic step like banning. Extremities never act as a cure in the real world.
Moreover, if titles like PUBG is banned, it will only be a matter of mere weeks or months that another product of a similar style is launched by a rival company. In short, there’s no stopping what is otherwise a natural flow of life.
We sincerely believe that video games are an emerging medium of artistic immersion that can only benefit us in the long run. You can read my piece on “The importance of Mundanity and Serenity of video games” in here.