Nepal seems to be following Prince Harry’s advice on banning a certain game for the health and safety of children. It’s not Fortnite, but rather its similarly popular rival, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG).
According to various Nepalese news outlets, spotted by Destructoid, the Metropolitan Crime Division filed a Public Interest Litigation at the Kathmandu District Court on Wednesday, urging a ban on PUBG on grounds that the game “was having a negative effect on the behavior and study of children and youth.”
Once the court granted permission to impose the ban on PUBG, effective Friday, the National Telecommunication Authority ordered mobile and internet service providers to block all access to the game, and local police say they’ll arrest anyone found to be playing the game on their phones.
Dhiraj Pratrap Singh, Chief of the Metropolitan Crime Division, told The Kathmandu Post that the reasons for wanting to impose the ban on PUBG were based on grievances received from parents and educators regarding changes in their children’s mental health as a result of playing the game.
“We received a number of complaints from parents, schools and school associations regarding the effect of the game on children. We also held discussions with psychiatrists before requesting the Kathmandu District Court for permission to ban the game.
Parents and schools had complained that the game was affecting their children’s studies and making them more aggressive. When we consulted with psychiatrists, they also said that the violence in the game can make people aggressive in real life.”
According to Nepali Sansar, most of the cases Singh heard about the link between PUBG and aggression involved kids throwing their phones at their parents or smashing them to the ground after being told to stop playing the game.
It’s one thing to suggest a ban on video games, even just one game in particular, for the health and safety of young people. Imposing an outright nationwide ban on a game like PUBG is nothing short of bringing an Orwellian novel to life.