An addictive game for adults too 

There has been a lot of focus on how the game Player’s Unknown Battlegrounds (PUBG) leads to addiction in children or teenagers.
Still from popular game PUBG.
Still from popular game PUBG.

BENGALURU: There has been a lot of focus on how the game Player’s Unknown Battlegrounds (PUBG) leads to addiction in children or teenagers. However, the game has a fan following among adults too. 
The New Indian Express reached out to a former addict, aged 34 and working a day job as a financial analyst, who chose to give up recently, to understand the allure of the game for players of all ages. The person chose to remain anonymous. Excerpts below:

How did you start playing PUBG?

I have always played first-person shooting games since the time I was in school. CounterStrike, which came out many years before PUBG, was the first game for me where I got to play against people from other cities or countries. It was wildly addictive and we would spend hours at night playing against each other or against teams from Japan or Korea. When PUBG was launched, it seemed like a natural progression of CounterStrike, with better graphics and the freedom of playing anywhere on your cellphone. 

How does PUBG get you addicted?

There are different types of gamers. Some love the thrill of playing FIFA, others like racing games like Need For Speed. For those who love shooting games, the main element that interests them is the world that they play in. With PUBG, the maps that are available are detailed, permit for interaction (for example, you may open doors, drive cars) and are immersive. Then there is the thrill of pitting yourself against others and coming out on top. Even besides the basic gameplay is great, there are the various other gimmicks like paid challenges, season passes, weapon modifications, new outfits and interactions --which keep you immersed in the game even while you are not actively playing. 

How did the addiction affect your life?

I started with a few rounds a day when I would come back from work. A particularly stressful day at work would mean more rounds till my wife came back home. Soon, however, I would continue playing even while she was around. When she started complaining, I showed her the game and even she was hooked. A lot of women I know play PUBG as well. Pretty soon, we were playing as a team for up to 8 hours in the night and would sleep only around 6 am. 

When did you realise you had to stop?

It was actually a funny conversation I had with a friend that made me realise I was hopelessly addicted. The friend was a PUBG addict too. One day, when outside, we heard a plane pass overhead and I instinctively started searching for it. The friend then laughed and said this was a normal plane and not an airdrop (in the game, planes fly overhead and drop weapons). I laughed it off at the time, but then realised my real-world life was being affected and decided to cut down. While we still play from time to time, I uninstall the game after every session so that I do not keep playing.

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The New Indian Express
www.newindianexpress.com