A young boy in India has made a big move by petitioning the Bombay High Court to issue a ban on popular shooter battle royale game, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG), according to a report from MSN News. Eleven-year-old Ahad Nizam has filed a public interest litigation with a little help from his mother. Nizam believes the game “promotes violence, aggression, and cyber-bullying” and isn’t healthy for children.
“The petition has also sought a direction to the central government to form an Online Ethics Review Committee for periodical checking of such violence-oriented online content,” the petitioner’s lawyer said.
The decision to seek the PUBG ban comes after young Nizam experienced negative emotions from playing the game for an extended period.
“After playing for a few days, I began to feel low and negative, so I stopped. This is why I have appealed to the government,” Nizam wrote in a letter dated January 25.
Nizam has also reportedly written several letters to Indian government officials, including Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Education Minister Vinod Tawde, Home Minister Ravi Shankar, and City Police Commissioner Subodh Jaiswal. He also decided to write letters to the Microsoft Corporation India and the Medical Council of India.
The hearing will likely come up before a division bench headed by Chief Justice N H Patil, however, there is no official hearing date yet.
PUBG does offer pretty intense gameplay. The game allows up to 100 players to be dropped onto an island with a single goal: Be the last man standing. Once on the island, players must hurry to find guns, ammunition, protective gear, meds, and other items to assist them on their mission. During gameplay, players are able to communicate with each other in real-time, which could possibly lead to the kind of “cyber-bullying” mentioned by Nizam.
Nizam and his family are currently receiving support from people across the country, including child psychologist Dr. Seema Hingorani, according to DNA India.
“The game increases aggression which gives children a false sense of power,” Dr. Hingorani said. “Some parents have noted increased aggression and snapping back at them from their wards.”
Dr. Hingorani went on to share an experience she had with a parent and child, where the child rebelled after his phone was confiscated by his mother. She said the child refused to eat or do his homework until the device was returned.
While the litigation only mentions PUBG, it’s safe to assume it also applies to PUBG Mobile, which is currently available on Android and iOS and is reportedly the most popular version of the game in India.