Earlier this month, a piece of news went viral on the internet, noting that Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT) has taken an initiative to ban PUBG Mobile inside the campus. It baffled some, it surprised many and it surely must have made the PUBG addicts at the VIT furious. But the ban has some merit. PUBG is not just a game, it’s a sensation. And that’s where it starts going south.
You see, when 2018 began, PUBG came across as a game for PC and consoles where friends could hang around and battle with other online players on a virtual battlefield. The developers analysed that if they could port the game to the mobile platforms without losing out on the trademark PUBG features, they could have a chance at making PUBG popular and earning highly. Hence, publisher Tencent Games launched PUBG MOBILE in the first quarter of 2018.
The game quickly became the next big thing on the Android and iOS platform. Mobile gamers had now access to a console-quality game, both in terms of graphics and gameplay experience. PUBG became a sensation over the months. Out of the blue, it was suddenly a good time to be a mobile gaming enthusiast.
Like every other smartphone gamer, I too was wooed by the quality smartphone gaming that PUBG offered. Prior to that, I preferred to stay true to a few racing games that were close in their own ways to give the console-quality gaming thrills. With PUBG on my phone, I was now excited to be part of a game that felt real in its approach to the battle royale genre. I could play it anywhere when I was free and even bring along my friends to tackle real players as a squad in the game. Every single day, I was looking forward to those short PUBG sessions with my friends and office colleagues.
As days passed, PUBG MOBILE became an indispensable part of my daily routine. I started finding myself reorganizing my priorities to dedicate more time to PUBG for winning the Chicken Dinner tag. I religiously devised plans and strategies to take down opponents. Throughout the day in office, my mind was in thoughts, planning how to get the most number of kills and evade the blue zone at the same time. The addiction rose to such as extent that I was willing to trade in a few hours of the much-necessary sleep as well as skip meals just to play just one more match in PUBG.
I even started avoiding my real life friends for my PUBG squad members in the evenings, just for that one more match. The Just-one-more-match started taking a toll on my workplace productivity, hampered my personal life and greatly affected my health. My mental health was also being hit badly and concentrating on work became a struggle.
Something had to be done
Therefore, one fine day, I unlocked my smartphone, navigated to PUBG MOBILE and uninstalled it. It seemed crazy, with my PUBG mates laughing at the very idea. It was similar to a chain smoker giving up on cigarettes. However, without PUBG, I suddenly discovered more time for more important things in life. I was eating more, sleeping well, dedicated more thoughts to productive stuff and was socializing more than ever. My productivity rose back. All was back to good. This was a proof that PUBG was dangerous to my individuality and the only cure to it was avoiding the game completely.
So, should PUBG be banned in India?
That depends on how one takes up the game. A bit of gaming is not bad. In my case, I still have PUBG MOBILE installed on my smartphone and I play it occasionally. Mark the word occasionally. And nowadays is mostly because my job requires me to test and review smartphones as well as tablets for a living. When that’s done, I entirely avoid PUBG as much as I can. My PUBG mates laugh at my lower scores, but I am happier than before.
The point I try to make is it’s not wrong to play PUBG, but one should do it under control. Gaming is a serious business and there are millions earning billions when you play their game even for 15 minutes. But, consider whether getting a virtual Chicken Dinner tag is more important than having an actual chicken dinner with your friends and family on time every day.