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After its release in 2017 PUBG quickly became by far, the most popular game in the world. Two years later and it still remains a powerhouse in the gaming world.
PUBG Mobile, a free-to-play version of the game, has more users than Fortnite 1 1. PUBG mobile has more downloads than Fortnite’s population – on all platforms × due to its popularity in Asian countries such as India and China.
It has become so bad in India that a 20-year-old boy recently died after prolonged play over 45 days and suffering severe nerve damage 2 2. 20 Year Old Boy From Telangana Dies While Playing The Battle Royale Game × . This has led to extreme measures to be put in place, such as locking users out of the game if they play for more than 6 hours in one day 3 3. PUBG Mobile Testing 6-Hour Daily Limit to Combat Addiction in India × .
The game isn’t showing any signs of losing its player base, and PUBG addiction is as widespread now as it has ever been.
What is PUBG?
- Rating: Teen due to violence and blood
- Cost: $29.99/£26.99 or free for PUBG Mobile (both versions also contain loot-boxes)
PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS pits up to 100 players against one another in a winner-take-all, kill-or-be-killed battle royale. Where your main goal is to simply outlive the competition.
After being air-dropped onto an isolated island, you’ll have to rely on skill and luck as you scavenge what tools and equipment you can from the surrounding area in order to survive.
Of course, you’re not the only one in this game.
Other players are also searching for the right tools to take you out as well. It’s not just the other competitors you’ll have to contend with, either. The border of the play area sporadically shrinks, forcing players to occasionally sprint to a new section of the map or get trapped out of bounds.
Warning Signs of PUBG Addiction
Video game addiction is a real mental health condition recognized by the World Health Organization. They have a set of three criteria as warning signs:
- Impaired control: Your gamer is unable to control or limit their gameplay.
- Loss of interest in other activities: Your gamer’s life revolves around gaming instead of gaming revolving around their life.
- Continuing to play despite negative impact: Gaming is causing significant harm to their school grades, employment, or relationships.
These are the three biggest warning signs for PUBG addiction, but there are others as well, such as being deceptive, experiencing withdrawal symptoms, using gaming to escape, or being unable to focus without playing games.
To learn more about the severity of your problem, take our quiz:
The Danger of Loot-Boxes in PUBG
As the mobile version of the game is so easy to get a hold of, it’s possible for children to spend a lot of money on the game unknowingly.
Not long ago a 15-year-old boy stole over $700 from his father’s bank account to buy loot-boxes.
While you’re able to earn loot-boxes by playing the game, you can only unlock a small number in one week. If you want to open more, it will cost $2.50 to purchase a key. The only purpose of these loot-boxes is to unlock cosmetic items that have no impact on gameplay.
On top of this, you can spend money to level up your character and unlock new dances, weapon designs, and celebrations.
For example, you can purchase a Survivor Pass for $10 (similar to Fortnite’s Battle Pass), to level up faster by completing challenges.
Subsequently, you can spend up to $50 at a time to instantly gain levels up to a maximum of 100. There are different price points, but it generally works out at $1 per level.
Research has found loot boxes to be psychologically the same as gambling, and parents should not allow loot boxes to be purchased.
How to Combat PUBG Addiction
Don’t wait for the problem to get worse. Take action now. Here are a few practical strategies you can implement:
Step 1: Limit gaming. If your son is over 12 years old bring gaming down to two hours or less each day. Require homework and exercise to be complete first before any access is granted. You may find it helpful to create a family screen time contract.
Step 2: Find more activities. Here is a list of replacement activities. Keep gaming from being the only thing they do. Make sure they are spending more time outside in nature, increase their face-to-face interactions, and find competitive outlets such as sports.
Step 3: Improve communication. Stop calling them an addict. Whether they are or not, this only creates more conflict in the family. Remember that rapport creates trust, trust creates leverage, and leverage is required for influence. Spend more time together hiking or doing activities together on the weekends. Consider changing up your communication and parenting styles.
Implement these strategies and they will help you turn your child’s PUBG addiction around. For additional support to help your loved one, purchase a copy of our video game addiction guide for parents and loved ones.