The minister for Information and Communication (MoIC), Karma Donnen Wangdi, informed the nation that the government cannot directly ban online game PUBG in the ongoing parliament session.
The minister was responding to a question raised by one member of the Opposition Party.
Bomdeling-Jamkhar MP, Dupthob, during the question hour session on Friday, raised the issue to the minister. He said, “PUBG is one of the most popular online games played by the youths nowadays, and it has become quite a great concern for both parents and teachers. And besides the huge psychological impacts, it also creates inconvenience and disturbance for the youths while studying.”
The MP asked the minister to update and inform the House on the initiatives taken up to ban/prohibit the abovementioned online PUBG game.
The minister said that the ministry in collaboration with Bhutan InfoComm Media Authority (BICMA) is studying on the possibilities to ban the online game PUBG but “cannot ban it directly.” He said that a thorough study should be done otherwise there will be a big repercussions.
Lyonpo Karma Donnen Wangdi agreed that the online game did indeed impact the youth’s psychology. He reported that the ministry had requested BICMA to look into the issue and that BICMA in collaboration with internet operators like Bhutan Telecom, Tashi Cell and NANO plan to come to explore the possible solutions.
He shared that it’s not only a concern in Bhutan but a global challenges.
However, the minister cautioned that the game is available on online game servers and that countries all over the world are exploring ways to ban the game completely.
He also reiterated that since the parent company of the game is also the parent company of many apps Bhutanese uses like WeChat and TikTok, they will have to be careful in going ahead with the ban as the particular online game is owned by tancent company.
Meanwhile, the minister requested teachers and parents to guide their children’s online activities.
In 2019, BICMA had called for the ban on the online multi-player game, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG), in the country citing its negative impact on young people.