The Taliban have wanted to ban the battle royale PUBG: Battleground in Afghanistan since April this year. The reasons given here are “promotion of violence” and “misleading young people”. In addition, the battle royale simply “wasted” people’s time. Meanwhile, the current Afghan government officials came to a decision. Telcos and internet providers have 90 days to implement the ban on the app. The mobile version of PUBG is probably particularly affected here, as well as the quite popular app TikTok, which has to face the same allegations.
PUBG too brutal for the Taliban
PUBG has been quite a success in Afghanistan so far, attracting up to 100,000 concurrent players there as of early 2021, which is sort of for caused a moral panic. The ban on PUBG and TikTok is not the only ban imposed by the Taliban since August of last year. The group also has over 23 million websites blocked for “immoral content”. However, getting a VPN isn’t that difficult, so getting PUBG banned shouldn’t have too much of an impact either.
A similar situation existed in the past in China, where “unmanly” video games were to be banned. Internet use by young people has also been severely restricted, especially for the popular title Genshin Impact. The normal PUBG is also not available in China, instead the game has been replaced here with a “patriotic” version. This bears the name “Game for Peace” and should not differ from PUBG, only blood and violence is not shown here.
It is not unlikely that such a “patriotic version” will also be offered for Afghanistan, since the title, as already mentioned, is quite popular. The social media app TikTok, on the other hand, will probably only be accessible via a VPN. It is not yet known how the Taliban intend to get the VPN problem under control.