While there was some talk last year about China banning the likes of Fortnite and PlayerUnknown's BATTLEGROUNDS, it appears that India has now gone ahead and taken the plunge. There's just been a PUBG mobile India ban in four cities across the country, and this could just be the tip of the iceberg.
A few weeks ago, it was announced that the two cities in India, Rajkot and Surat, and banned PUBG Mobile. The reason for this apparently boiled down to how the game was potentially affecting the behavior of students in the cities. In the wake of that, two more cities have followed the same decision-making process, and it looks like the police are getting involved.
Related: Fortnite & PUBG Banned In China?
The International Business Times has now reported on how this PUBG Mobile India ban has spread to the cities of Bhavnagar and Gir Somnath. The ban, in essence, is meant to prevent people from playing PUBG Mobile, and it looks like it's enforceable under the Indian Penal Code until 30 March 2019. The IBT reports that anyone playing that game has to be aware that "legal action will be enforced under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code" which is meant to punish those who don't comply with lawful orders given by public servants. What this allegedly means isn't so much that people will be arrested for the mere act of playing the game, but that they will be arrested if they are showing violent behavior as a result of playing PUBG Mobile.
There's always a bit of a media controversy around whether or not violent video games have the capacity to influence violence in the people who play them. It's a debate that's played out plenty of times, but this is likely the first time that there's been an attempt in international legislation to actually draw those links with the ability to enforce them in a court of law. The fact that the provision in the Indian Penal Code appears to been worded for use around causes of violent behavior is telling; there's not an actual law that bans the game itself per se, it's actually a police communique banning people from playing the game that functions legislatively under the penal code as an order from a public servant, therefore bringing it Section 188.
This PUBG Mobile India ban comes as a slightly unprecedented move on a bureaucratic level against the concept of games causing violence in young people. While China has taken steps to put age limits on certain games, this legislatively enforceable ban in India with a wide purview and broad focus will likely be a lot harder to enact against people than previous measures taken against titles that governments have been concerned about.
Source: International Business Times