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Nepal bans PUBG over addiction concerns in children

The Nepal Telecommunications Authority has ordered a ban on PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds "because it is addictive to children and teenagers."

According to Reuters, the Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA) has ordered a ban on the battle royale game PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, saying that the game’s addictive nature and its potentially violent influence on children are to blame for the decision.

Reuters reports that an order has been given to all internet service providers, mobile operators, and network service providers to "block streaming of the game" starting today. 

While the authority says that the game’s violent content and its negative impact on children is to blame, the same report from Reuters notes that there had been no reported violent incidents related to the game. NTA deputy director Sandip Adhikari says that concerns from parents about children being distracted from studies or other responsibilities factored into the decision as well.

Nepal isn’t the first country to cite addiction and impose limitations on games like PUBG. A handful of cities in India banned the game last month, and reportedly arrested 20 people in violation of the ban, though one of the three cities has now rolled back the ban.

China, meanwhile, has been strengthening regulations on online games for some time, causing companies like Tencent to implement facial recognition tech and verification systems that run player names against China’s public security database to ensure children don’t exceed government mandated playtime restrictions. 

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