PUBG Mobile Gameplay Management System Could Curb "Gaming Addiction"

TJ Denzer,

May 15, 2019 9:51 AM

As the debate of how much gaming can negatively affect young people rolls on, PUBG is at least aiming to come up with solutions with new Gameplay Management features on Mobile.

The effects of long-term gaming on young people when it comes to health, social, and other wellness factors may be one of the most hotly debated matters in this industry. As the ESA continues to lobby against control and the government of China continues to observe and place strict restrictions on the industry, at least PUBG is attempting to offer somewhat of a solution to make middle ground and provide actively responsible measures for younger players. Tencent and PUBG Mobile are rolling out a new Gameplay Management system to help players take better stock of their time spent in-game.

The new Gameplay Management system was announced on May 14, 2019 via a press release from Tencent and the PUBG Corporation. Once the system is implemented, it will require players to confirm their age upon logging in. Players under 18 years of age will need to read through and confirm an advisory and the system will offer pop-up notifications about game time to encourage players to either take a break or stop playing. As one of the highest trending games in the world, this is a measure that will undoubtedly become an active part of millions of players’ PUBG games.

PUBG Mobile is a fertile ground to test out a gameplay management system, given that the game has reportedly as many player accounts as Fortnite playing.
PUBG Mobile is a fertile ground to test out a gameplay management system, given that the game has reportedly as many player accounts as Fortnite playing.

At Twin Galaxies, we have always believed in striving for excellence. That sometimes comes with dedication that some would say borders on obsession. We celebrate the achievements of marathon runners like Robert Mruczek of Star Wars and further record fame, Tim McVey’s legendary billion-point Nibbler runs, Donald Hayes conquering his Centipede high scores, and so much more. That said, there’s definitely ammo to the debate of whether or not younger players need further measures to help curtail questionably defined “gaming addiction” nowadays. The fact is that gaming systems that were once consigned to an arcade one had to take an outting to visit are now practically in our pockets and within arm’s reach at any given second and accessibility that was once impossible is now absolutely common.

For those who haven’t kept up on this debate, on one end, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced in 2018 that they would likely be adding “Gaming Disorder” as a diagnosable condition in its latest edition of the International Compendium of Diseases (ICD-11). Meanwhile, the Chinese government has ramped up efforts of restriction and regulation on the gaming industry in a health initiative targeted towards young people. These restrictions had a direct impact on PUBG publisher Tencent and Twitch ended up being outright banned in the country. However, that hasn’t stopped the gaming industry in China from continuing to flourish and grow as one of the leading gaming markets in the world. Meanwhile the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) has continued to fiercely lobby against heavy regulation and public opinion it deems damaging, such as the WHO Gaming Disorder classification and recent legislation introduced against microtransactions. To say this debate is hotly contested on a global scale between both consumer and global entities would be a gross understatement.

With organizations like WHO and ESA butting heads and legislators worldwide arguing over various aspects of gaming, there arguably must be a clear middle ground to assuage concerns.
With organizations like WHO and ESA butting heads and legislators worldwide arguing over various aspects of gaming, there arguably must be a clear middle ground to assuage concerns.

PUBG Mobile’s Gameplay Management system is only a small step, but it is one that could help assuage concerns in parents, government, and litigators who don’t see enough responsibility being taken on behalf of the industry or many of its consumers. If systems like this lend even a small hand in curtailing the perceived issue of gaming addiction or obsession, PUBG Mobile and other developers and publishers creating and implementing similar systems could show would-be litigators and legislators that there are options to address the issue.

Certainly it would be reasonable to believe such a thing could be bypassed or abused. That said, it could go also a long way in creating a valid and constructive middle ground between concerned forces and passionate gaming. Many would probably agree that doing nothing is more of a problem that simply lends validity to the arguments against perceived gaming addiction or obsession. If nothing else, PUBG Mobile is offering a step and testing ground to see if "healthy gaming" systems work and if it doesn't, maybe developers will learn lessons from it to employ in a system that does work.

What do you think? Is the Gameplay Management system of PUBG Mobile something that further publishers and developers should explore or is it something that can be too easily bypassed or abused?



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