It was my interaction with a young, nine year old, who was terribly bullied while playing PUBG an online multiplayer game that led me to delve deeper into the nuances of the game.

Players Unknown Battle Grounds, better known as PUBG, is a game wherein up to 100 players parachute down to a deserted map and the players who can survive till the end while staying in the play zone win. In the meanwhile, there are many types of guns and other weapons which make the game interesting – as the player has to search for them in the houses and buildings – before being rewarded.

Thus, it is a kill or be killed, player versus player game, allowing up to one hundred players pitted against each other in a nail-biting game of strategy.

Parents should know that PUBG allows players to form teams, either by inviting friends or combining forces with other unknown players on the platform.

Here are some PUBG perils unraveled for parents:
Players Age Limit – Most parents may not be aware that PUBG is rated for players who are 17 years of age and older. In the midst of chaos, fury and violence, every encounter is dreadful and virtually life threatening. Violence is the driving force behind the game and weapons feature heavily.
Children playing such violent video games are more likely to have increased aggressive thoughts, hyper active behaviour and anxiety disorders.

Unknown Players: Like in all multiplayer online games, you don’t know who your child is playing with. The social nature of such games allows cybercriminals to manipulate conversations.

Bullying and bad language via voice chat used during the game can negatively affect young minds. The nine year old victim I counseled was subjected to rude, nasty and threatening voice messages by an adult player. This was so devastating for the young boy that he continued to get nightmares, even six months after quitting the game. According to him, despite blocking the bully, he was unable to block those conversations from his mind.

Gaming addiction – The photo realistic graphics and console-quality playing experience have resulted in serious addiction amongst players. What might start as a gaming session lasting about 30 minutes, keeps a player hooked on for several hours, leading to addiction.

Combating these problems requires talking to your children about online risks, monitoring their activities closely and barring them from playing violent games specially those meant for older people.

Be Safe in Cyberspace!