A teenager in Pakistan has confessed to killing four members of his family in a fit of rage, after binging on the popular battle royale game PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, better known as PUBG. It is understood that the 18-year-old teen, named as Ali Zain, had shot dead his 45-year-old mother Naheed Mubarak, a Pakistani Lady Health Worker and three of her other children in their home near Lahore, Pakistan.
Reports say that the kid was a ‘diehard PUBG player’ who’d spent most of his time cooped up in his room playing the game. It is unclear if he was playing the desktop game or the mobile version, but a now-deleted tweet by the Punjab Police of Pakistan shows a screenshot of PUBG Mobile. Ali was allegedly angered and turned aggressive after failing to achieve certain targets in the game. Police say that he then ‘lost his senses’ after hours of gaming, and took his mother’s pistol out before heading to her room. He then shot at his mother and his siblings, killing them all on the spot. Ali apparently thought they would return to life, like how it happens in the game. The authorities have since called the game dangerous, and want it banned to prevent further violent acts.
This wouldn’t be the first time Pakistan has tried to ban the game either. Back in July 2020, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority had banned PUBG Mobile and the live streaming app Bigo too. The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority had called the game an addictive wastage of time, and said that it has a major negative impact on the physical and psychological health of Pakistani children. Eventually though, a meeting between the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority and representatives from the game’s studios led to the ban being lifted by the end of the month.
Elsewhere, the battle royale shooter was also banned in India in September 2020, partly due to the conflict between China and India that kicked off that year. China had also banned the game, leading to developers Tencent replacing it with a new game called Game for Peace that changed up a number of things to satisfy the Chinese government, such as less violence in game. Closer to home, calls to ban the game were also made back in March 2019 by the Negeri Sembilan Mufti Datuk Mohd Yusof Ahmad. He had argued that it led the younger generation towards violence.
While it is important to note that violence in video games have so far not been found to be linked to violent behaviour, it can still lead to frustration and poor mental health if the player is unable to win or achieve their goals, especially after long sessions. If you’re a gamer yourself, it is crucial to balance out your enjoyment of the game with your health, and to stop playing if it gets too much to handle.