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Ten people arrested in Gujarat for allegedly playing banned game PUBG (news18.com)
89 points by karambir 37 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 54 comments

> the ban was necessary as these games were leading to violent behaviour among children and youth

Ah another claim that video games cause violence not backed by any sciecific data.

Isn't the result more mixed? There are some studies that found no relation and other studies that found a relation, and no sufficient explanation why repeating the same studies end up showing different results?

Considering the amount of people (myself included) that have grown up playing video games and shooters. I think we have enough empirical evidence that violent video games do not in fact raise violent people.

Im only looking at the crime rates in the US using wikipedia [1], and the crimes are going down. Im certain that this trend is similar in other developed countries that have a long history of violent movies and video games.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crime_in_the_United_States

Yeah no kidding. All of my friends and I grew up on Wolfenstein, Doom and Duke Nukem. None us grew up to be the least bit violent.

>I think we have enough empirical evidence that violent video games do not in fact raise violent people.

How so? One could easily make the claim they cause a small increase in violence but changes in our society (such as better ability to find criminals using DNA and video recording, more tolerance of displays of violence that harm no one, removal of lead from gasoline, etc.) have a larger effect in the opposite direction for most individuals. Science won't toss out such large sets of poorly collected data, but neither will it make definite judgments off of it.

I don’t think I’d like this arrest any better if it came with data attached.

I wish the cops had showed more interest in recovering the cell phone that was snatched from my wife recently. I wish they show more interest in the rise of snatching jewellery in than arresting kids for their questionable choice in games.

Its common practice among Indian cops to refuse to register such crimes. But when it comes to pandering to politically blessed agendas, many fall over themselves to please.

I dont think I had much choice in the matter when I had to sign up to pay for their salaries to do the job of parenting.

>many fall over themselves to please

fall over themselves to please someone in power

It's illegal to play a video game? What world is this?

This is Modi Kaka's New India. Many websites like reddit, alexa.com, etc. have also been banned by ISPs over the last few months.

Haha, Modi fans are downvoting you for pointing out that the obvious. This incident took place in Gujarat. Modi was the Chief Minister of Gujarat for more than a decade before becoming Prime Minister of India. The BJP has now been in power in Gujarat for nearly 20 years. If Modi/BJP isn't responsible for this idiocy, then I would invite the BJP bhakts (devotees) to tell us who is.

Before you speak, let me establish two facts. Modi and the BJP are synonymous since 2014. When the BJP wins an election, it's called a "Modi wave". The flipside of taking credit for everything and micromanaging everything that the BJP does is that he is responsible when they fuck up... like they have here. Second, the police ultimately report to the Chief Minister who is answerable to Modi. Now say what you have to say, without resorting to the downvote button.

From the article, it looks like the local police banned PUBG after locals complained about its addictive nature(in the exam season). Not saying that this is legit, but I don't think Modi would've called the local Police chief and said, "hey bro, please ban PUBG because kids won't do well in exams in my state".

As for the sites ban, I couldn't find any Government order banning these sites. For all we know, it might be the courts issuing these bans.

I don't mean that Modi personally signed the order banning PUBG. I meant that Modi and the BJP have ruled and continue to rule over a state where policemen think they are a law unto themselves. They think they can ban perfectly lawful activities, then arrest anyone who violates their idiotic ban. The policeman thinks the ends justify the means. I am asking why the policeman's boss agrees with that.

For people not from India like myself, BJP is the Bharatiya Janata Party. I'm far from being a specialist of the political situation in India, but IIRC they're a right-wing nationalist party.

Well it's the same age old policy of banning media. Earlier it was limited to books and news media, what you see with internet & now video games is just it's manifestation in new form as these new forms gain in popularity.

Check out this list of books banned in India and tell me how many are from Modi Kaka's New India: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_books_banned_in_India

Wait, Reddit is banned by ISPs in India?

Not blocked in Mumbai right now.

Basically it is blocked in some places and not blocked in some others:


I was able to access it in Gujarat just fine when I visited a month ago.

I wonder when people will start quoting "Modi Kaka's New India" for seg-faults and stack-overflows...

Is there a Government order to ban these sites?

Please, don't spread lies.

The local government (district level) (not in all country) made it illegal for exams and in public because it is addictive.

I think this happened after parents complained about the addictive nature of the game.

I am against banning anything like that, but I hope you also realize that some people would involuntarily waste years of their life and completely destroy themselves playing it. The addiction is real and harmful.

I would think being arrested is more harmful and time wasting, with way more serious consequences.

Whoever came up with that law is simply an imbecile or dishonest about their motives.

India has 3 psychiatrists per million and 1 psychologist per 2 million people.

On the other hand they have 150 policemen per hundred thousand citizens so what else is going to happen?

Meanwhile the Tech companies and Telcos and Media(social/news/games/porn) are mindlessly falling over themselves to hook as big a chunk of the masses as possible with their dark patterns. The parents of most kids with a phone in India, barely know how to read and write, leave alone understand/supervise what the kid is doing on the phone.

The size and scope of the mental health disaster unfolding boggles the mind.

Let me know when India bans alcohol, high-calorie food, or any of the countless other things that can be abused.

Alcohol is already banned in Gujarat and Bihar. One can only purchase it if they have arrived in Gujarat from less than 6 months using a rationed licence.

Not many can buy high calorie fast food. I think the ban can atleast limit the use of the game, specially in public. I think the game is similar to alcohol addiction and keeps people poor by making them unproductive.

That is a terrible narrative to start passing around.

Games are not keeping people poor. An extremely small population relative to total people playing may be addicted and it affects their lives but that should not be a reason to ban a game.

Also, the point it not made with this situation. It’s a single game. Not all games.

You can find youths leaving everything to play 'this' game everywhere. It is not just the usual fun thing. I too play games, but I've not seen such thing; it is addiction.

So the government decides that it's better that they waste away in prison and they shouldn't have any chance of improving themselves at all?

Why do you think it's a waste? And why do you think it's involuntary?

Addiction is a real problem. If affects the poor the worse, just like the drugs. It's a waste of time because in the end you get nothing but headaches. However I would support better regulation than banning them.

People used to and still do waste much more time watching television. Do you feel that we should’ve regulated watching it as well?

Please look to the US drug war to see why throwing people in jail for a problem they have is not the correct solution.

I didn't say to throw people into jail. Just to regulate them better(i.e sell highly addictive games only to people over 18) just like smoking is now regulated in the European Union. I don't think watching TV is as addictive as pc/video games.

Ban the TV, throw people in jail for watching.

The interesting bit for me is: how did regular police find out who was playing the game? Were they spotted in person, or is there good enough network surveillance in India to implement filters and pass subscriber information to the police? (Or is this some kind of hoax to make more people comply?)

it's 2 people, so they've gotta be two people who were caught on their screens flaunting the rules or being ignorant of it. If it was network surveilance, you'd have numbers in the thousands easily.

I've seen some are mentioned as caught on the street. Just wondering about the rest where the situation was not listed explicitly.

> If it was network surveilance, you'd have numbers in the thousands easily.

That doesn't have to be true. If you want fewer people playing the game, it's easier/cheaper to catch a small number and make it known in media than actually arrest thousands. (Unless arrests are your goal that is)

That's not how you control the behavior of a population. You'd post the entire number of people caught, warn the violators and make them pay a small indemnity. Having a small number of people reported caught makes enforcement seem ineffective in finding the culprits.

They were playing in the street

Looks like a tactic orchestrated by parents-cops to scare other kids from playing PUBG, because: Exams (:rolling_eyes:)

Will certainly backfire (more kids will get onto it).

Highly clickbait news item for Indian/International media to report on this.

I am super glad that Doom, Wolfenstein, Mortal Kombat, Shadow Warrior have not got as popular as PUBG else I would have a really hard time with India.

Its Indian version of tabloid news. AFAIK some local enforcement agency passed a rule banning PUBG near to school exams.

News18 is not a tabloid website.

But just in case you're not convinced, here's the BBC reporting the same arrests:


This reminds me of the time when my friends ran a fake contest on Facebook in the early days. Someone won. Then they told their local newspaper. Other small papers picked it up. Then it got picked up by bigger publications. Everyone treated it like it was a legitimate contest.

Sometimes a story is so juicy that even the big fish can't ignore it.

I think 16 people being arrested for playing a banned video game is real news that deserves to be widely published.

Your friends' fake Facebook contest is not quite comparable.

I disagree. This story is far too insignificant for people who are nowhere near the incident to be alarmed about.

We have a lot to think and worry about all the time much closer to our homes. Stories like this being reported by an outlet so far removed from the situation on the ground don't serve the people receiving the news apart from triggering them.

HN is a global community and if something is insignificant for you because it's too far away or something, it's quicker to just ignore it than to go into the discussions and tell people that are actually engaging with the topic that it's not worth their time. A little disrespectful as well.

I can tell you why it's relevant to me: I live in India, so it's local, and it's related to the social effects of technology. Now the front page has news about California being drought-free. It's not of interest to me, so I will just ignore it.

We weren't talking about HN. How many Indian newspapers report on every little nonsensical arrest that happens in the US?

But these are not merely nonsensical arrests otherwise unconnected to everything.

Modi named PUBG as a problem in a recent public meeting. Then some local police officials decide to outlaw it, and start arresting people over it, while the courts and the government do nothing about it. The arrests are absolutely a part of the rise of fascism in the country under the current regime. Why should the world not be interested in the growing fundamentalist face of India?

Multiple people being arrested because of draconian laws enacted at whimsy, anywhere, is always newsworthy. I don't understand why you're trying to trivialise it.

> Modi named PUBG as a problem in a recent public meeting.

Any source to back this up? If you're referring to "Yeh PUBG wala hai kya", then it was a reply to a mother who was concerned about her son's addiction to online games. Any person who knows about online games would've pointed towards PUBG. This is also the reason why the locals petitioned the local police about rising PUBG addiction. Banning is not the solution but the concerns of parents about addiction(in exam season) are absolutely legit.

> The arrests are absolutely a part of the rise of fascism in the country under the current regime.

Either you don't know what fascism is or you're clearly making a joke out of it.

Did the locals also petition the police to arrest their own children?

I know what fascism is and in my opinion it is exactly what is happening in India in the current regime.

Today a BJP MP has openly declared that if the BJP wins the 2019 elections, there will not be a need for any more elections in 2024 or thereafter.

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