Jordan bans PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and Fortnite might be next

Jordan’s Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) has followed a number of other countries in banning its population from playing PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. Roya News reports (thanks, the PUBG ban is already in effect, with plans to ban a number of other games – including Fortnite – also planned. 

Iraq also implemented a ban back in April, banning people from playing not just PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, but also Fortnite, too. The Iraq parliament voted to ban the two battle royales “due to the negative effects caused by some electronic games on the health, culture, and security of Iraqi society, including societal and moral threats to children and youth”. 

PUBG was also recently banned in Nepal, although it stopped short of doing the same to Epic’s Fortnite. The Nepal Metropolitan Crime Division went to the Kathmandu District Court to file a Public Interest Litigation after parents and school leaders complained about “the effect” the game was having on children, citing the battle royale game was making people “aggressive in real life”. A subsequent ruling by the supreme court, however, stayed the ban and asked the government for added justification.

The Jordan TRC released a statement saying the ban was for the national interest, stating it had received complaints from worried citizens concerned about the battle royale’s purportedly negative impact and referred to the bans currently in place in China, India, Iraq, and Nepal, even though the latter had the ban overturned by the courts, and the Indian ban was only temporary.  

It also cited a World Health Organization study that purportedly stated PUBG was violent and negatively impacted children’s behaviour and led to addiction. As rightly points out, there’s no evidence any such study exists, although the WHO did recently add gaming disorder to its 11th International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) and a 2014 WHO advisory group report “briefly expressed concerns about violent games having adverse effects on children”.

About Vikki Blake

It took 15 years of civil service monotony for Vikki to crack and switch to writing about games. She has since become an experienced reporter and critic working with a number of specialist and mainstream outlets in both the UK and beyond, including Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, IGN, MTV, and Variety.

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