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25 Mar 2019, Edition - 1350, Monday

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Coimbatore

Does the violent PUBG induce aggressive behaviour?

Archana Rohit

Players Unkown’s Battlegrounds Game (PUBG) is this year’s “POKEMON GO”. Teenagers, as well as young adults, are addicted to this game. It is the second most downloaded app on iOS. The download numbers are an astounding 2.5 million on Android. It is also available in Xbox and Microsoft Windows ( laptops and PCs).

The game was designed and developed by Brendon Green, along with Tencent Games, Bluehole Studio Inc and PUBG Corporation. It was released last year. However, it gained momentum in India in March 2018.

PUBG has a huge fanbase for various reasons: it can be played on mobile, it is completely free, is a multiplayer battle royale interactive game where players can pick their friends or anyone around the world as allies, controls are easy to understand and learn, conversing while playing with the teammates is one of the most loved features.

The goal of the game is to survive until the last with 99 other players (classic mode) and get as many kills as possible. The mobile game boasts about its graphics which makes the entire playing experience fun for the gamers and lastly with “Jio” high-speed internet everyone seems to have been addicted to this game.

Some fans choose to show off their exemplary skills in the PUBG tournaments held across India. In Bengaluru, one such Mobile Campus Championship 2018 took place in September. Students from more than 1,000 colleges participated to form 20 teams to win the cash prize of Rs 50 lakh. There was a PUBG tournament in Coimbatore on October 28 and the cash prize of Rs 3,000 was given to charity.

Modern video games have extensive achievement and reward systems in which players can compare their achievement. Various tasks and goals are drawn out with constant feedback mechanisms. These constructs allow players to see how far they have come and how far they need to go. Basically, outlining the path to fulfilment, says psychologist Aarohi

The phenomenon which started as a bandwagon effect often leave players in “ZONED OUT phase”. Sometimes the gamers are completely involved and oblivious to their surroundings. The ego falls away, time flies by every action and moment and every thought follows inevitably from the previous one. Gamers are so invested that the whole being is involved by using their skills to the utmost, she adds.

There has always been a debate over violent games like doom, call of duty and PUBG. Some school of thought support and some oppose.

According to the American Psychological Association “Consistent relation between violent video game use increases in aggressive behaviour, aggressive cognitions and aggressive affect and decreases in prosocial behaviours, empathy and sensitivity to aggression.”

This is contrary to another study which says, “playing violent video games led to a decrease in frustration and aggression.”

The debate over violent video games is far from settled. Whether it is through studies, debates or discussions, it is taken that people play games to feel fulfilled. Games differ by experiences. However, they all have a component of satisfaction. But, all players are different and these differences dictate the games one chooses. Choosing to turn this satisfaction into an addiction at the cost of daily functioning is what should be considered and monitored consciously.

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