The village 'addicted' to PUBG

At least one person from every Islampur household hooked

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On Monday, a 17-year-old from a village in Faisalabad died after playing PUBG for 24 hours straight.

According to the post-mortem report, Kashif suffered from an aneurysm. "Even when he was barely consciour, he kept talking about what was happening in the game," a doctor said.

PUBG, which has been developed by a South Korean company, is a 2017 survival game in which players are dropped onto an island to battle it out against others.

The multiplayer game allows players from all over the world to compete against each other or in teams. Players attack and kill each other in the game and the more you win, the higher you rank.

A team from SAMAA TV visited Kashif's village Islampur after his death. It found that the video game has a vice-like grip on the young people there. At least one person from every household is a seasoned PUBG player.

The approximate population of the village is 3,000.

Kashif's friends told SAMAA TV that he introduced the game to them.

"Kashif used to live with his older brother in Karachi and completed his Matriculation there," his father said. "He was sent back because his brother complained he didn't do anything in the city and kept playing video games."

He added that the 17-year-old recently bought a Rs30,000 phone for his games.

When Kashif came back to his village, he taught his friend how to play PUBG.

The people of the village said that the teenagers' obsession with the game has reached a level where they were spending thousands of rupees to upgrade the app.

You can download PUBG for free but to introduce new levels in the game an upgrade is required. The cost of these additions has to be paid in dollars.

This is one reason why the crime rate in the village in the past few months had skyrocketed, a man living in Kashif's neighbourhood said. "These teenagers work as plumbers and technicians. Where did they get the money for all these updates?"

On December 20, when Kashif was taken to the hopsital's emergency, he was complaining of a bad headache. His parents said that this was normal. "Every morning when he woke up, he said his head was hurting," his mother said.

According to neurologist Dr Zeeshan, the recurring headaches were stimulated by constant exposure to the game.

"PUBG is not good for our brain," he said. "It enhances the violent streak inside the brain and pushes players to go to any extent to win."

PUBG ban

The Pakistan Telecommunications Authority had imposed a temporary ban on the game earlier this year after three gamers died by suicide in Lahore.

The PTA said that the decision was made after it received “numerous complaints against PUBG wherein it is stated that the game is addictive, wastage of time and poses a serious negative impact on the physical and psychological health of children.”

The controversial ban led to people discussing the effects of the game on young people and it became one of the most debated topics in the country.



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