Gujarat has become the first Indian state to officially ban the smartphone videogame named PUBG as it has sent out a circular to strictly disallow the popular game, considering the negative effects it leaves, especially on children. But, there’s a catch and the game is not banned for all in Gujarat.

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds aka PUBG is continuously topping the smartphone gaming billboards in India, and the multiplayer has spread like wildfire amongst the youth within 8 months of launch. With the most number of downloads, PUBG was declared the best game of 2018 by Google under the action game genre. But, the negative effects that this online multiplayer game has, especially on young children’s brains is something to chew over. The extremely addictive game adversely affects the brains and studies of school going students, and incidents of individuals injuring themselves while playing the game made it necessary to take steps to control it.

Jammu and Kashmir was the first state to come up with the idea of banning PUBG Mobile, and Jammu’s Student Association had made calls to imply a ban on the game. There were rumours about the game being banned in Maharashtra earlier this month, but Gujarat stepped up and became the first state in India to officially ban PUBG game. On Thursday, the Gujarat State Primary Education Board issued a circular ordering all primary schools to strictly ban the game, and all District Primary Education officers have been directed to ensure that necessary steps are taken to ban the game completely.

The ban is meant to avoid adverse effects of the game on students, keeping in mind, the upcoming board exams from next month. The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has also sent out recommendation letters to all states to ban the game in India, citing child protection. However, as per the GSEB notice, the ban is limited to schools and primary school students, and it is likely that adults can still continue to play the game in Gujarat – but suggestively, with precautions and in moderation.