An Indian engineering college has banned PUBG under the claim that its ‘spoiling the atmosphere of the hostel’ — but leaves women out of the conversation

An Indian engineering college has banned PUBG under the claim that its ‘spoiling the atmosphere of the hostel’ — but leaves women out of the conversation

  • The Vellore Institute of Technology issued a circular to the men’s hostel to ban students from playing the hugely popular online game, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, on the premises.
  • The announcement has faced backlash on Reddit, Twitter and other social media platforms for being excessive, citing comments that reiterate that colleges are ‘for adults’.
  • The underlying concern is that the circular has only been issued to the men’s hostel while there are no such guidelines being put in place for the women’s hostel.
Gaming has always been considered a ‘distraction’ or as the Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT) puts it, ‘spoiling the atmosphere of the hostel’.

The engineering college has banned students from playing the Tencent game, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG), in the men’s hostel according to a post that was shared on Reddit.

The email sent out by the institution’s warden asked students to ‘concentrate on physical games or sports and give more importance to their career growth’. In order to ensure that these guidelines are followed, students that don’t adhere to the new rule will be ‘dealt with seriously under the VIT code of conduct’.
Complimentary Tech Event
Transform talent with learning that works
Capability development is critical for businesses who want to push the envelope of innovation.Discover how business leaders are strategizing around building talent capabilities and empowering employee transformation.Know More

The fact that the notice has only been issued to the men’s hostel and not to the women’s hostel is a matter of grave concern. If PUBG is in fact undermining the ability of students to focus on campus, shouldn’t the standards for both genders be equal?

Gaming addiction

A lot of the backlash that VIT is facing on social media seem to be around if college students should be considered responsible enough to make their own decisions resonating with arnavb’s comment on Reddit stating, “Aren’t colleges for adults?”

Thewannabetraveller responded saying that, “No one views college students as adults in India. At least, until you commit a crime of some sort. Then you’re the rouge baddie type guy.”

That being said, the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences reported a number of cases that revealed player addiction to PUBG. Even the World Health Organisation recognised gaming as health disorder earlier this year in June.

The issue at VIT

This isn’t the first time that VIT’s policies have been in the crosshairs of being too restrictive. In 2013, a female student and staff member were fired for merely questioning the disparity in curfew timings for men and women.

The difference remains that even today women have to pay a ‘monetary fine’ when they meet someone of the opposite gender on or off campus after the dictated curfew timings.

The circular to ban PUBG gaming in hostels has only been issued for the men’s hostel and if the game is in fact ‘spoiling the atmosphere of the hostel’, shouldn’t the women’s hostel be afforded the same guidelines?

The disparity reeks of an obvious bias compounding the many gender stereotypes within the game where they have seeped offline under the assumption that women shouldn’t even be a part of the conversation.

PUBG is the most popular online battle game this year, surpassing the popularity of Fortnite and FreeFire, primarily due to their decision to introduce the game to the mobile gaming platform.