The Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) said it will keep warning citizens about the “global” online game PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG), which it said “encourages violence and causes addiction”, a TRC official told The Jordan Times on Sunday.
In PUBG, which has more than 100 million downloads on Android iOS, 100 players parachute onto a remote island, where each player has to locate and scavenge his own weapons, according to the game’s website. The last player standing wins the round.
The game, which is rated suitable for users above the age of 16, has been reported as finding its way onto the screens of children, youth, teenagers and even adults, according to the TRC official.
Some parents and wives have issued calls on social media to ban the game, which they claimed was “occupying minds with violence” and constituted “a source of addiction that controls the players’ lives”.
Mohammad Al Watheq Shaqrah, an official from the Regulatory Department at TRC said that “Banning applications is technically not easy, and is not even a solution,” adding that raising awareness among the public was the key to combating the negative effects of any new game or application.
“Banning the game will make it even more desirable, and people will find a hundred ways to access and play the game,” Shaqrah told The Jordan Times, stressing that, “the procedures of banning are not easy”.
He noted that the TRC constantly warns citizens against violent video games, without mentioning a particular name so as not to promote it, but this time they had to make the warnings more explicit.
Khalid Sinjlawe, a 25-year-old player, said that “the game is fun because it simulates reality,” adding that he was not addicted, but “once you start playing, you cannot stop”.
Mohammad Al Ramahi, another 24-year-old player, said that PUBG was unique compared to other games, citing an easy download and the opportunity to play online with other people.
“The game fills the long hours of the day when I have nothing to do; no work and no studying, so I play with other people to waste time and laugh,” Dania, 25-year-old-player, told The Jordan Times.
A military officer who also plays the game but requested anonymity said that the game “gives him an immense feeling of enthusiasm while shooting and killing”.
Abdullah Sami, a 30-year-old PUBG player, added: “I think the warnings are exaggerated. There are games that are more violent, and even include explicit scenes, on PlayStation and computers, but the fame PUBG has gained is due to its easier access on mobiles.”
Shaqrah stressed that parents should have a regulatory role over children to ensure they are not sucked in by violent games. “Playing games sometimes is acceptable,” he said, “but parents should keep an eye on which games their children play, and with whom”.
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