SRINAGAR The Jammu and Kashmir high court on Tuesday issued notice to government of India and State Government on Public Interest Litigation, seeking ban online access to PUBG game in Jammu and Kashmir.
A Division Bench of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Rajesh Bindal issued notice to Secretary Union of India Ministry of Communications, Government of J&K through Chief Secretary, Secretary Information Technology & Technical Education Department, Chancellors University of Jammu and University of Kashmir, Director School Education Kashmir and Director School Education Jammu for their response.
The petitioners, law students, submit that since 2017, an online battle royal game by the name Players PUBG has been available in India which is a type of a video game in which a large number of players, starting with minimal equipment, search for weapons and armor and eliminate and knockout all other opponents while avoiding being trapped outside of a shrinking safe area, with the winner being the last competitor in the game.
PUBG as popularly known across the world has been developed and published by PUBG Corporation, a subsidiary of South Korean Video Game Company, Blue Whole. The game is hosted by platforms which include Microsoft windows, Xbox One, Android, iOS and Play-Station 4.
While playing PUBG, they said, a single-game has upto 100 players, playing simultaneously against each other. The game environment is setup on an island and players have to scavenge for weapons and equipments to kill others while avoiding getting killed. The available safe area during the game-play decreases in size overtime, directing surviving players into tighter areas to force encounters among the remaining players, they said. The last player or team standing wins the game.
That the game was simultaneously released in the State of Jammu & Kashmir as well and received a tremendous response from the teenagers and other tech savvy youth who instantly made it a routine to spend hours on the said online game. The craze went to such an extent that a restaurant upon the theme of PUBG game sprang up in the vicinity of Srinagar city, they said.
They said representatives of students community, J & K Students Association have also written a letter to Governor of J&K, seeking ban on PUBG game because of its ill-effects on the studies of students as the game is main reason for poor results in recently conducted 10th and 12th examinations as also the game has taken the place of drugs in the society as the students and youth seems to be addicted to play the game.
They also submitted that the State of Jammu & Kashmir is a militancy affected area and implementation of laws like Disturbed Areas Act and Armed Forces Special Power Act are a testimony to this assertion.
In such docile and fragile conditions, the indulgence of youth in such online video games which are based on blood and violence along-with free and mindless use of arms including highly sophisticated armor and artillery creates a wrong precedence and breeds violent thoughts and criminal behavior in young minds.
They have sought direction to the authorities to ban online access to PUBG game within the territorial jurisdiction of state of Jammu and Kashmir as also to ban online access to PUBG game over routers and other internet access devices installed within the premises of University of Kashmir, University of Jammu, Higher Secondary Schools in Kashmir Division, Higher Secondary Schools in Jammu Division, Higher Secondary Schools in Ladakh Division, High Schools and Primary Schools in the Jammu & Kashmir.
Authorities be directed to form an online ethics review committee to monitor the entertainment software content from time to time, they said.