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PUBG ban: Players groan, parents rejoice

By Johanna Montanari - Jul 07,2019 - Last updated at Jul 07,2019

AMMAN — Since Thursday, the popular online multiplayer battle royale PlayerUnknown's BattleGround (PUBG) has been down in Jordan after the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) blocked the game, citing its “negative social effects”. 

The game has been reported to be played by young children and adults alike, even though it is only rated suitable for users above the age of 16. 

In remarks to The Jordan Times on Saturday, the TRC said that its decision is in line with the commission’s duty to protect users as well as with the Telecommunications Law, alleging that the game has been proven to “promote violence, isolation and self-centredness”. 

The goal of the ban is to raise awareness about this and similar games, the statement said, urging parents to prevent children and young people from playing it. The TRC previously issued a warning about the negative psychological effects of the game last December.

Yarob, a 29-year-old gamer living in Madaba, told The Jordan Times on Saturday he plays PUBG because it “is fun and brings friends together”. 

He added: “We have way bigger problems to be solved, due to which people die for real.”

Others voiced their appreciation of the decision. "My children, although in their twenties and thirties, are addicted to playing this game and I am happy it is blocked," Amneh, a mother of six, told The Jordan Times on Saturday.

"My children visit me every Friday with their wives and the grandchildren and they spend most of the time playing this game and they do not talk to each other," she added. 

"My eldest son who is six years [old] sometimes plays the game. I used to allow him to play it for 30 minutes or so because I myself played the game, but he started to become addicted and it is the first thing he wants to do when he wakes up so I deleted it from my mobile," Fadi Saleem, a father of three, told The Jordan Times Saturday. "I think for adults it is okay, but for kids it is a very bad game." 

Motaz Jarrah, a 33-year-old player living in Amman, called the ban “a bad decision” in an interview with the Jordan Times, suggesting most people just play the game casually and “only a very small amount of people use it irresponsibly”. 

He suggested parents act individually to protect their children: “This is an action taken on behalf of a lot of people, which is not right.

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