April 11, 2019 / 5:12 PM / 6 months ago

Nepal bans online game PUBG citing negative impact on children

FILE PHOTO: Merchandising products are pictured at the PUBG Global Invitational 2018, the first official esports tournament for the computer game PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds in Berlin, Germany, July 26, 2018. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

KATHMANDU (Reuters) - Nepal on Thursday banned the popular online game PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG), saying its violent content had a negative impact on children, an official said.

“We have ordered the ban on PUBG because it is addictive to children and teenagers,” Sandip Adhikari, deputy director at Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA), the nation’s telecoms regulator, told Reuters.

The ban comes into effect from Thursday, he said.

Following a request from the Himalayan nation’s federal investigation authority, the regulator directed all internet service providers, mobile operators and network service providers to block streaming of the game from Thursday onwards, Adhikari said.

PUBG, made by South Korean firm Bluehole Inc, is a survival-themed battle game that drops dozens of online players on an island to try and eliminate each other.

It was launched in 2017 and has a huge global following.

Adhikari said so far there had been no reports of any incidents linked to the game. But he said parents were concerned about their children being distracted from their studies or other normal routine work.

Reporting by Gopal Sharma; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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