Following a boy’s act of killing his family members in Lahore allegedly after being inspired by the popular video game Player-Unknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) last week, the Punjab police have called on the provincial and federal governments to place a ban on all violent video games.
The police’s recommendations follow the arrest of a 14-year-old boy who shot dead his mother and three siblings last week. The boy was allegedly addicted to PUBG, playing for hours everyday, which police contend negatively impacted his mental state.
“Repeated failures in the game increased his stress and he fired at his family thinking that they will also come back to life as happened in the game,” a police spokesperson told Dawn.
This is the fourth violent incident in past two years which police have attributed to PUBG. Additionally, at least three young players of the game have committed suicide since 2020.
“To stop acts of violence caused by this game, it is necessary to ban PUBG,” police said. “Youngsters addicted to completing the game’s tasks eventually commit acts of violence.”
PUBG was briefly banned in Pakistan in July 2020, after the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) found that the game was excessively violent and ‘highly addictive. Bigo, the makers of the game, had promised at that time to ‘moderate immoral and indecent content in accordance with Pakistani laws’ once the ban had been lifted.