Iraq has just won a victory against the video game industry. The iraqi Parliament voted this Wednesday, April 17, the prohibition of the use of the game PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds in justifying an “incitement to violence” in a State ravaged by war. “Given that some video games have a negative impact on the health, culture and security of the iraqi society, they also pose threats to moral and social to many children, boys, girls, and students of the school and of the university […] it is necessary to block everything, which is related to the game and to the sale of these violent video games,” said Sameaa Gullab, head of the committee of culture and media of the parliament. The iraqi Parliament has adopted the proposal by a large majority.
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The multiplayer fighting game PUBG has democratized on console and computer duels in the arena with its “battle royale”. It is a game where hundreds of players are dropped at the same time in a conflict zone. They must find weapons and equipment to kill each other to be the last player standing. Last year, the game developers announced that they have 400 million players in the world. The survival game has many followers in Iraq, in particular thanks to the iOS and Android apps. The iraqi press local has echoed in recent days of debt and divorces are caused by these mobile platforms. The craze around the title developed by PUBG Corporation would have led to nearly 40 000 divorces in the world and more than 20 cases in Iraq.
earlier in the year, the influential leader of shiite Muqtada al-Sadr, the former leader of a powerful militia, had called on young people to abandon the game in a press release. “It grieves me to see our young people get brainwashed by PUBG”, to berate him-he in his declaration. In Iraq, 60% of the population is under 24 years of age. “The iraqi society is deteriorating because young people are occupied by the fighting on the battlefields of PUB. What is the purpose of this game? What is it that you will benefit if you had killed one or two people playing PUBG? This is not a military game, or an intellectual,” says he.
A wakeup call that may be repeated
PUBG, Fortnite, Blue Whale, and other multiplayer games are affected by this new law. The telecommunications Authority to take the necessary measures to prohibit the access to these platforms in Iraq. The adoption of this legislation in the Kurdistan region is still unclear for the moment. Under the constitution, the regional parliament has the power to amend or reject laws of the central government on issues that do not fall under federal authority.
last April, the government of Nepal has banned the game PUBG, citing a risk of addiction. A few weeks ago about a dozen Indian players have been arrested in the State of Gujarat to have been caught trying to play for the title. The game had been temporarily banned throughout the territory of India. According to the list relayed on Reddit, the fate of PUBG in China remains a concern with a threat of prohibition that weighs to content “gore, inappropriate and vulgar”. A national ethics committee is working on the issue since the month of August.