At the beginning of April, the government of Nepal put together an immediate ban on the popular battle royale game, PlayerUnknown’s Battleground. Proponents of the ban stated their reasoning as protecting children and teenagers from the addictive nature of the game. The ban went into effect on April 11, and the Nepal Telecommunications Authority “directed all internet service providers, mobile operators and network service providers to block streaming of the game,” according to Sandip Adhikari, deputy director of the NTA, in an article by Reuters.
Now, just about two weeks later, the Supreme Court of Nepal ruled the ban unconstitutional, and just like that, PUBG is legal again, according to an article by The Himalayan Times. When the ban came into effect, petitioners argued that the ban violated Nepal’s constitution on the grounds of restriction of freedom of expression, an argument that would be held up by the Court. “The court observed that it decided to stay the ban imposed by Kathmandu District Court and subsequent orders passed by the government agencies on the basis of Kathmandu District Court order because if the ban was allowed to remain in effect, it could adversely impact people’s rights to freedom,” reads the article.
Nepal is not the first country to ban and un-ban games like PUBG, surprisingly enough. Last month, the Gujarat government in India also banned the game and shortly rescinded it. However, nearly 20 people were reportedly arrested in violation before that. More recently, Iraq’s Parliament had a vote to ban both PUBG and Fortnite, as well as other similar games, which passed unanimously on April 17. Lawmakers cite similar concerns as the Nepal ban, with the game’s effect on children a central issue. While that ban still currently stands, it may not be a stretch of the imagination to believe it’s only a matter of time before it is recalled like the others.