Indonesia's Communication and Information Technology Ministry is considering banning the battle royale game PUBG. The debate has been sparked by a call from an Islamic organization in the country for a PUBG ban.
Suit up before it's shut downAs reported by The Jakarta Globe, the West Java chapter of the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) said last week that they were working on a fatwa to ban the game. The MUI suggests the game might have inspired the shooter in the Christchurch mosque shootings on March 15. Among the victims were Indonesian Lilik Abdul Hamid and two other wounded Indonesians. Semuel Pangerapan, the MUI's director general of application and information, spoke to CNN's Indonesian branch. He said if the MUI thinks the game is "destructive," they'll review it and send a report to the ministry. In addition, he reports that they're ready to follow up on any request for a ban. Malaysian ulemas also support a PUBG ban.
However, there are some who oppose the proposed ban. Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, the 26-year-old Youth, and Sports Minister said it would be a "wrong move" to blame an admittedly violent game for extremism. Others have noted the social media know-how demonstrated by the shooting suspects.
PUBG has faced scrutiny and bans in certain countries before. Back in 2016, the game was singled out for depicting acts of violence and restricted to ages 18 and older. Meanwhile, in India, some cities have banned the game to combat addictions to the game. Arrests have been made and there are reports of a system to limit playtime on PUBG Mobile, although Tencent has said that limiting the time was unintentional.
Other games have also faced bans in Indonesia for a variety of reasons. The 2004 stealth game Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow was banned for using the East Timor Independence War as its setting. The 2D fighting game Fights of Gods is also banned from the country for blasphemy. The game features deities and prophets from various major religions fighting each other.