Headline, November 30 2020/ ''' '' WARS VIDEOGAMES WAND '' ''' : STUDENTS



THE GAME IS CALLED PLAYERUNKNOWN BATTLEGROUNDS, BUT to its millions of players worldwide, no matter the language, it's referred to as PUBG [pronounced pub-gee].

In Afghanistan : Virtual battlefield thrives in war-torn nation as Afghanistan proposes a ban on violent video game that gotten a CULTLIKE FOLLOWING.

It is violent. And it's widely played across Afghanistan, for many an escape from reality as the 19-year old war grinds on. In the game, the player drops onto a large piece of terrain, finds weapons and equipment and kills the other people playing the game.

AFGHANISTAN : Rifle fire, hurried footsteps and distant explosions. The rat-a-tat of firefight. Cars mangled from grenades. The young man was transfixed.

It could have been any day in Kabul, where targeted assassinations, terrorist attacks and wanton violence have become routine, and the city often feels as if it is under siege

But for Safiullah Sharifi, sitting firmly on a dusty stoop in the Qala-Fatullah neighborhood, the death and destruction unfurled on his phone, held in landscape orientation in his hands.

''On Friday I play from early morning to around 4.p.m.,'' said Mr. Sharifi, 20, with a sly grin, as if he knew he was detailing the outline of an addiction to a passer-by. His let hand is tattooed with a skull in a jester's hat, a grim image offset by his lanky and not-quite old enough demeanor. ''Almost every night, it's 8 p.m. to 3 a.m.''

Victory comes to the last person or team standing. Which makes its growing popularity in Afghanistan peculiar since that can eerily almost describe the state of the war - despite the peace negotiations in Qatar.

Even as ending that war seems ever more elusive, Afghan lawmakers are trying to ban PUBG, arguing that it provides violence and distracts the young from their schoolwork. But Mr. Sharifi laughed at the mention of the proposed ban, knowing he could circumvent it easily with software on his phone.

He said he uses the  game to communicate with friends and sometimes talks to girls who play it. That is a remarkable feat on its own since only in the last several years have Afghanistan's cellular networks become capable of delivering the kind of data needed to play a game like PUBG, let alone communicate with people concurrently.

Gaming centers became popular in Kabul, the Afghan capital, in the years after the 2001 United States invasion, which ended the Taliban's ban on entertainment, which included video games and music.   PUBG and other mobile games are downloadable on a smartphone, and free, in a country where 90 percent of the population lives below the poverty line.

Sometimes, players pay a local vendor to download the game, a work around to avoid taxing limited sometimes expensive data plans for phones. That costs as little as 60 cents.

Abdul Habib, 277, runs a video gaming den in West Kabul that features mostly soccer games. It's a small room on the lower floor of a shopping center, with TVs, couches and Playstations.

There are other gaming dens in the shopping center, separated by doorways and different owners, but connected by neon lights and a dimly lit atrium where students ' youth scurry back and forth looking for couch space and controllers. A snack sells sauce sandwiches.

For Mohammed Akbar Sultanzada, the chairman of the Afghan Parliament's Transportation and Telecommunication Commission, the problem with PUBG is not just its violence.

He said it has also invaded the country's frequently threatened and under-staffed classrooms.

PUBG was banned in Iraq last year for similar reasons. India and other countries also have banned the game.

''It can be really negative for children's mental health,'' said Freshta Karim, the director of Charmaghz, a Kabul nonprofit, and local education activist. ''I feel like it encourages and normalizes violence and makes them a part of it.''

Outside influences, including in education, are often disparaged among Afghans, but high levels of illiteracy have left the population vulnerable to just that.

In the 1980s, the United States distributed millions of textbooks to Afghan children that promoted violence through text and images that featured talks of Jihad and weapons of war as ways to help learn the alphabet and basic math.

But PUBG is not handed out in class rooms; it's played under desks and in courtyards and when some children skip school, on street corners. If the game is banned, may people say, they will just turn to virtual private networks and keep playing.

The Honor and Serving of the Latest Global Operations Research on Wars, Students, and Videogames continues. The World Students Society thanks authors Thomas Gibbons- Neff and Fatima Faizi.

With respectful dedication to the Videogames Makers, Video Gamers, Students, Professors and Teachers of the world. See Ya all  prepare and register for Great Global Elections on The World Students Society : wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter - !E-WOW! - The Ecosystem 2011 :

''' Virtual Vectors '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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