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PUBG PARADOX

By Mir Aadil Bashir

PUBG (PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds) is an online multilayer vendetta developed in 2017 by PUBG Corporation, under the enterprise of Bluehole. The game starts when hundred players are splashed down on an island and they scavenge for weapons to kill while desisting from getting killed themselves. The area of playing contracts in area as the game progresses, bringing the survivals together to face each other. The last player or team that survives wins the round, acquiring the valuable Chicken Dinner.

 

PUBG is one of the most downloaded royale game on iOS and android platforms. Celebrities, students and sportsmen occupy themselves with this form of recreation. It’s almost like if a person doesn’t know what PUBG is must not be living on this planet.

Lately PUBG is facing the heat from disparate sections of the society including parents, doctors and religious preachers as well. They claimed that this game corrupts the brains of an individual and is the reason of their violent and antisocial behaviour. If we talk of Kashmir, recently many articles have come up in the local newspapers claiming that addiction of PUBG has exhibited social phobias which has resulted in the isolation of individuals particularly youth as they interact less with their families and not concentrating on their careers as well. The Doctors Association even wrote to the governor of Jammu and Kashmir to ban PUBG in order to save the future of young generation.

In contrast to the notion that portrays the bleak side of PUBG, we can see the other way around as well. Let’s take the scientific and psychological aspects into consideration. Many scientists have claimed that video games especially PUBG changes the brain of an individual in a positive way as well. According to University of Wisconsin psychologist C. Shawn Green, playing games alter the brain’s physiological structure in the same manner as do learning to read, navigating using a map or playing a piano. Much like exercise can build muscles, the effective combination of concentration and rewarding surges of neurotransmitters like dopamine strengthen neural circuits which can build the brain.

One may claim that PUBG induces the concept of competition among people to further the fragmentation which has been the main problem with the societies affected by Neo-liberalism, but at the same time it could also teach and propagate the idea of survival in a chaotic and uncertain world.

In PUBG, the players have to run and shoot simultaneously and during this they must save themselves and take care of speed and aiming of the gun. All these strands require a proper coordination between brain and finger tips. It could be argued that this hand-eye coordination and visual tracking helps in the improvement of brain functioning.

PUBG is a multilayer game where one can communicate verbally with others irrespective of the place and nationality of the person. Individuals who are afraid of expressing their feelings in front of the world can communicate with the world through this forum. The best thing is that one can talk with his/her friends and stay in touch with them in a life full of busy schedules.

An article surfaced on homeopathyrecovery.com some ten months ago in which a doctor averred that his patient was scared of a centipede in her whole life. Then she started playing PUBG and after some days she saw a centipede and she wasn’t afraid, she wasn’t violent and she didn’t scream. She took the action immediately and threw that centipede away. This became possible only due to her fast reflexes, developed by PUBG. On reddit.com, a person said that PUBG changed his perception of life. He became a better employee because PUBG brought carefulness and detail in his life. He further added that PUBG has unlocked a whole new spectrum of his brain. He added that PUBG is like a drug, a good one that’s when taken responsibly just like anything else. A study published in Frontiers in Psychology didn’t find any long term effects of playing violent video games like PUBG.

Many people have criticised PUBG and held it responsible for the reason of destroying the careers of students. But if we develop a contracting notion to this, why can’t people have careers in gaming? Is it necessary to follow the traditional notions of careers like medical and engineering? If we look around in Indian subcontinent, many PUBG players like DYNAMO and MORTAL stream on YouTube and earn supercalifragilisticexpialidocious amount of money. Looking at them, one can construct a carrier in gaming especially PUBG. A good gamer gets paid for playing in Esports team as well.

The growth of PUBG has been enormous in the past one year. The Asian games are holding events in Esports from 2022 and Olympic committee is thinking to add it to 2026. So if somebody is a good player of PUBG, that person can win a medal for his/her country.

The Doctors Association Kashmir claimed that PUBG addiction is more dangerous than drug addiction. It seems a harsh indoctrinate deduction of the notion when drug addiction can seriously damage the health and social fabric of the society and can bolster anti-social activities. This discourse portrayed a negative image of PUBG throughout the Valley. I carried out a brief survey in my vicinity, taking the notions of youth into consideration. I met some people who expressed that PUBG for them is a stress buster and provides relief from the heavy work load of day-to-day life. I met a guy who had the notion that PUBG makes his mind work faster and has helped him develop a faster reaction time towards things. It is an awesome game and has improved his decision making to a considerable extent. A student who didn’t perform well in his exams made a striking comment on the game by saying that PUBG has helped him to get rid of depression effectuated by his bad performance in exams.

I myself have been playing PUBG for last couple of months and it has helped me a lot in several aspects of my life. For a shy person like me it has done a wonderful job. It has helped me to communicate with people, make friends and has even improved my verbal skills as I play with people with different languages and predominantly with a better accent in English speaking. Yes it does have an addictive nature and might be harmful. Everything which is done out of bearable limit is a poison for one’s life, even oxygen. PUBG can’t be banned for a mere addiction prospect. The people who don’t play PUBG might be ruining their careers in some other way. Interesting thing is that nobody writes to the government about banning Alcohol or Drugs or even smoking but everybody comes to the existence when it’s about banning a mobile game.

If PUBG is that much shoddy entity, banning it will ban a way of getting diverted. A person who has to waste his/her time will find a new way to do it if not PUBG.
PUBG is all about surviving and eliminating that goddamn last player to procure the exquisite CHICKEN DINNER. Isn’t Life like PUBG?
(The author is pursuing B.A (Hons.) English Literature at Aligarh Muslim University. He can be reached at: [email protected])

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