Player Unknown Battle Ground, the battle royale game that spread like wildfire amongst all gamers has now found a couple of assailants in the real world and the battleground, in this case, is the state of Gujarat.
PUBG Mobile catapulted to fame soon after its release in 2017 with over 200 million mobile downloads. Soon enough, instances of casualties cropped up across India, beginning from a suicide case reported from the southern section of India, followed by another in Hyderabad and a hair raising gruesome accident on the train tracks in Maharashtra. The resultant outrage against the game and its ‘violence promoting’ elements, cumulated with a unanimous call for banning this lethal addiction.
The first and only Indian state to ban PUBG has been Gujarat where the state’s public education department ordered schools to place a blanket ban until the end of the academic year. Nearly two dozen people have already been arrested for the violation of the same.
Stepping in to reinvest the digital freedom of the netizens, The Internet Freedom Foundation (IFF), posted on Reddit that it has moved a PIL against this injudicious embargo on the game. The organization is recognized as the messiah for net neutrality, online privacy and the freedom of expression. The most recent campaign against the PUBG ban has found its footing as a blatant infringement of the Fundamental Right of the people arrested, enshrined in Article 14, 19 and 21. The litigation panel, spearheaded by Mr. Asim Pandya and Mr. Manan Bhatt, assert that the ban may superficially appear as a rather ‘absurd and amusing’, but it is ‘no laughing matter’. Majority of those arrested in Gujarat under this precedent, are young students and such a strong legal action against them could indelibly mar their career plans and future prospects, in fact, it is a ‘deeply traumatic experience’ for them on the whole.
Weighing out both aspects of this famous and now infamous game fixation, it still poses a question, whether these bans and truncations are justified? Will they drive people to take responsibility for their actions? The answer is subjectively a shade of grey. Along the same lines, TikTok is soon landing itself in hot waters for its allegedly “pornographic” content.