11/13/2020, 00.00
INDIA
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Popular PUBG video game is back on the Indian market

by Nirmala Carvalho

In September the game was banned for national security reasons. The South Korean company that owns it replaced China's Tencent as its Indian distributor. The smartphone app has more than 70 million users worldwide. Indian psychologists warn that it is dangerous and addictive, especially for young people.

 

New Delhi (AsiaNews) - The popular PUBG video game is back in India. PUBG Corporation, the South Korean company that owns the online war game, made the announcement yesterday.

For national security reasons, the Indian government had banned it on 2 September along with 117 other Chinese smartphone applications. The game was marketed in India by Tencent, a Chinese technology conglomerate.

According to several observers, the ban was linked to growing tensions with China over their Himalayan border.

To get around the ban, PUBG Corporation severed its ties with Tencent, which will no longer have the rights to distribute the video game in India.

PUBG has nearly 70 million users worldwide, 36.3 million in India alone, half of whom access it daily.

For its detractors, the application creates a dangerous addiction, especially among youth. It allegedly causes violent behavior, physical and mental disorders, sleep and study problems, and social alienation.

According to press reports, a 22-year-old war game addict committed suicide in his home in Yavatmal (Maharashtra); a 14-year-old boy committed suicide in Kota (Rajasthan) after a night session of matches.

Last year, a 15-year-old from Bhiwandi, also in Maharashtra, allegedly killed his older brother for scolding him over playing PUBG on his mobile.

Indian psychologists claim to treat at least two or three cases per month of young people who have problems with "multiplayer" games like PUBG. They explain that these video games with elements of virtual reality can create situations of severe addiction.

The brain registers the game and releases a chemical called dopamine, which in turn induces an adrenaline rush in players, making them addicted to this feeling of excitement.

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