Iraq moves to ban online game PUBG for ‘inciting violence’
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Iraq’s parliament on Wednesday voted unanimously to ban the popular but brutal online game PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds for “inciting violence” in the war-torn country.
Often likened to the blockbuster book and film series “The Hunger Games”, PUBG game pits marooned characters against one another in a virtual fight to the death.
It is ubiquitous in Iraq, which has been ravaged by decades of consecutive conflicts — most recently the three-year battle against the Islamic State jihadist group.
On Wednesday, Iraqi lawmakers unanimously voted to block video games which “incite violence,” according to parliament’s spokesman.
Specifically naming PUBG and its rival Fortnite, among others, lawmakers said the games “threaten social security, morals, civics and education” in Iraq society.
They asked Iraq’s communications ministry and media commission to block access to the games, although a full ban will need approval by cabinet.
The vote came a week after powerful Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr appealed to young people to stop playing PUBG or watching football matches.
Iraqi media had, for months, alleged that addiction to playing PUBG had caused marital disputes and even divorces.