After India, PUBG sees blanket ban in Nepal

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New Delhi | Published: April 12, 2019 1:53:30 PM

PUBG Mobile has been banned in Nepal as the Nepal Telecommunication Authority finds it impacting players negatively

PUBG and PUBG Mobile have been banned in Nepal

Nepal is the latest country to impose a blanket ban on the overly popular video game Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds. Starting Friday, April 12, the multiplayer battle royal game will not work on major carriers in the country. According to The Kathmandu Post, the ban was ordered by the Nepal Telecommunication Authority on the lines of public interest litigation filed by Metropolitan Crime Division at the Kathmandu District Court.

The petition filed by Kathmandu’s active crime division on Wednesday sought a ban on PUBG as it was corrupting the behaviour and affecting the studies of children and youth. “We received a number of complaints from parents, schools and school associations regarding the effect of the game [PUBG and PUBG Mobile] on children,” Dhiraj Pratap Singh, chief of the Metropolitan Crime Division, was quoted as saying in the report.

Singh further told The Kathmandu Post that the committee referred to experts and physiatrists before finalising on the litigation to urge the authority to ban PUBG. The court immediately gave permission for the ban, followed by the dissemination of the order to Nepal’s telecom authority. Nepal Telecommunication Authority has ordered all the telecom operators and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in the country to discontinue support for PUBG servers.

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Ever since the craze for playing PUBG Mobile caught up, many regulators across the world have expressed concern over the ill-effects of intensive gaming habits of the players, in addition to the violence-centric theme of the game. India leads the charts in terms of the ban on PUBG Mobile – major universities and even the city authority of Ahmedabad banned the game on account of ‘negative’ behavioural impact on underage players.

Many players have voiced disapproval over the ban as it is deemed a violation of the rights of Indian citizens. Authorities have claimed that the actions have been taken into consideration with the parents, guardians, and experts who believe there should be a curtailed exposure to video games such as PUBG. The ban was lifted by Ahmedabad earlier this month as the board exam season is now almost over but the police stressed that there should be a check on PUBG players.

Bluehole, the company behind PUBG, had previously issued statements that tend to offer compliance with the directions by authorities in India. Recently, PUBG Mobile was spotted with a feature that would block the gameplay beyond a certain time. It was later confirmed by the company that it was a test feature and that it was being rolled back. The company, however, said it acknowledges the effects of the nature of the game, including the time spent on it, and that it will come up with the necessary measures.

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