PUBG Mobile: What is it, is it affecting students and why have Gujarat, VIT and other institutions banned it


In the last few months, various reports have come from across the country with regards to PUBG Mobile. Some colleges and schools, and more recently, the government of Gujarat has been in the news for banning the popular mobile game. Its detractors say that the game impacts school students as well as adult gamers negatively. In some cases, there was also talk that playing the game affected people psychologically and they suffered severe trauma that led to their hospitalisation. For example, one gamer in Jammu reportedly started hitting himself. He was later hospitalised.

So what is PUBG Mobile? And is it really dangerous for school kids, or for that matter anyone who is addicted to it?

PUBG became popular last year when Chinese publisher Tencent launched it worldwide in collaboration with PUBG Corporation and Bluehole. Its popularity is global but given that India is a smartphone country, it also has millions of gamers in India. PUBG is a game that adheres to battle royale genre. The mobile version went viral after gamers were introduced to console quality gaming on smartphones. The game has been so successful that developers now constantly refresh the gameplay by adding new maps, weapons, seasons and tricks.

What is PUBG?

PlayerUnknowns BattleGrounds or PUBG is an online multiplayer fighting game. The game belongs to the battle royale genre, which is a phrase that defines survival games. In these games, players need to fight it out for survival and the last man standing wins. In case of PUBG, up to 100 players parachute down to a deserted map, with weapons and medicines to fight it out amongst each other. The players who can survive till the last while staying in the play zone win. PUBG is available for PC (Steam), Xbox and PS4.


PUBG MOBILE is a slightly watered-down version of PUBG for mobile platforms. This version is free to download and players have access to 70 per cent of the playable content without paying. The game syncs with Facebook and Twitter for saving gameplay across multiple devices and enabling multiplayer matches with friends.

Why is PUBG MOBILE so hyped?

PUBG MOBILE relies on an ultra-realistic console-quality Unreal Engine 4 game platform. In plain English, it uses a game engine that brings photo-realistic graphics and physics to a mobile game. While most high-resolution games are restricted to flagship grade devices, PUBG MOBILE is optimised to run on low-end Android phones as well. Compared to simple games such as Candy Crush and Subway Surfers, PUBG MOBILE is a breath of fresh air for those who can’t afford gaming consoles or PCs.

So why schools or now Gujarat govt is banning it?

The ban likely has to do with the genre of the game. Battle Royale games are somewhat violent as well as addictive. PUBG MOBILE brings that violence of a shooting game to more people, particularly in India where everyone seemingly has a mobile phone but very few have a gaming PC or a console like Xbox One and PS4. Probably the schools and government bodies believe that when children and or even college students are focussed on playing PUBG for hours after hours, they are not paying enough attention to their studies or even their well-being. Apart from that, there have been following arguments that have been put forth against PUBG.

— The blood and gore portrayed in the game can negatively affect minds of children as well as adults.

— The great graphics and console-quality gameplay have resulted in serious addiction amongst players. Parents and institutions have reported that children tend to focus more on PUBG instead of their studies, which indirectly affects their education. Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT) reportedly banned PUBG inside its campus.

— Recently, a fitness trainer in Jammu was hospitalised after he suffered a mental breakdown while playing PUBG on his phone and started hitting himself. He was hospitalised and the incident hints that addiction to PUBG may affect people’s mind.

— PUBG on small 5-6-inch screens may result in eyesight issues.

Where is PUBG banned in India?

— The Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT) has banned PUBG inside its campus.

— The primary education department in Gujarat has issued a circular to all District Education Officers to implement a ban for PUBG across all schools in the state.