On Monday, Lahore High Court (LHC) ordered Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to adjudicate over banning Player Unknown Battlegrounds (PUBG) mobile video game in Pakistan. PTA is given 6 weeks to decide the fate of PUBG in Pakistan.
A petition was put forward in front of division bench of Lahore High Court. The petition highlighted its impact on children. They pointed out the negative implications of the said game which includes the heightened violent tendency of the players. They added further that the decision making of the new lot has become impaired. The arguments put forward convinced LHC to recommend banning the game in Pakistan but it left the decision to PTA.
Since the verdict came out, there is a lot of backlash by PUBG users. They are devastated over the fact that they won’t be able to play PUBG anymore. They are justifying their interest in it by making it sound like lesser of an evil, pointing out innumerable other ‘real’ problems our society is facing daily.
more than 150,000 cases are pending in Lahore High Court and they choose to focus on BS like this instead. When will our government institutions stop being so damn authoritarian?http://t.co/c9SQCmtFvg
— Ubaid. (@desileftie) May 18, 2020
Meanwhile, some enthusiasts are arguing the business factor in PUBG gaming industry of Pakistan. As online gaming tournaments have big prize money, winners make big bucks in these highly anticipated tournaments. One such event is organized annually by DEW. They hold a championship inviting everyone to participate and in the end winner is declared ‘Pakistan’s Esports Champion’ and the winner gets a cash amount.
Gaming is growing industry in Pakistan pubg is one the most played mobile game it's bringing so much to Pakistan every year there's tournament by dew this year the winning prize 3.6million rupees itnay aur maslay haan unkay bc nahi sahi karna Jo aik acha cheez ha us ko ban Kar do http://t.co/2547Z0kQCO
— Abdul Ahad (@sheikhsace) May 18, 2020
In these circumstances, it is necessary to understand the dilemma we are facing. There are several researches which support the pros of gaming which include good concentration and memory, efficient problem solving skills and the ability to multitask. But it’s also a fact that binge gaming can lead to the gaming addiction, and addiction of any sorts is a problem.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-5) also known as the bible for psychologists has introduced Internet Gaming disorder as a new phenomenon. The proposed criteria for the diagnosis of this disorder includes following symptoms,
- Preoccupation with gaming
- Withdrawal symptoms when gaming is taken away or not possible (sadness, anxiety, irritability)
- Tolerance, the need to spend more time gaming to satisfy the urge
- Inability to reduce playing, unsuccessful attempts to quit gaming
- Giving up other activities, loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities due to gaming
- Continuing to game despite problems
- Deceiving family members or others about the amount of time spent on gaming
- The use of gaming to relieve negative moods, such as guilt or hopelessness
- Risk, having jeopardized or lost a job or relationship due to gaming
Whether PTA opts to ban PUBG mobile or not, it is important to realize that it’s not a matter of a single game based on survival themed battle game, there are countless other games more lethal and addictive than PUBG. Banning one game won’t solve the problem as there are multiple alternatives to this game .
So the wiser option here is to spread awareness among the masses ,especially our youth, regarding online gaming disorder and let individuals pick what is best for them.