- Following India’s footsteps, Bangladesh could ban PUBG Mobile soon.
- The Bangladesh Government could also ban Garena Free Fire alongside it.
- Officials state that both games are ‘causing addiction’ among youth, and therefore need to be banned.
It seems like India’s move on the PUBG Mobile ban has resonated well with Bangladesh. However, the reasons for laying out the banhammer seem to be slightly different. The Bangladesh government (via Daily Manab Zamin) is of the opinion that games such as PUBG Mobile and Garena Free Fire cause “gaming addiction” among kids. The government plans on restricting access to said games via a VPN, too. It’ll be interesting to see how that gets implemented, as it would also involve a blanket ban on the two games. While one can play PUBG Mobile and Garena Free Fire in Bangladesh now, that could change very soon, if the government has its way.
The Daily Manab Zamin report also purports that battle royale games tend to make teenagers “more violent.” It has been a go-to argument against video games for decades. However, it is baseless and has been debunked multiple times by peer-reviewed studies. The president of the Bangladesh Mobile Association thinks that easy access to games ‘leads youth astray,’ which is alarming, more so because it comes from someone in a position of power.
Bangladesh banning PUBG Mobile for such reasons could set a precedent. Nepal tried to ban PUBG in 2019, but better sense prevailed and the decision was quashed by the county’s supreme court. Even though Battlegrounds Mobile India hasn’t been launched in India yet, politicians are already calling for it to be banned, but for “national security” reasons. PUBG Mobile is already banned in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and a few other countries for the same reason, so regulators can always cite that as a reason to have Battlegrounds Mobile India, PUBG Mobile, Free Fire, and other such games banned in various countries.