Saudi Arabia bans video games following suicide of two children

47 games banned in Saudi Arabia after children’s death

Do you remember the deadly online suicide game, ‘The Blue Whale Challenge’ also known as ‘The Blue Whale’, which caught attention of the world after a spate of teen suicides were said to be linked to the game.

For those unaware, The Blue Whale Challenge that became a social media phenomenon, plays out over a period of 50 days, where a player has to successfully complete 50 challenges. These tasks are given by the “curator”, who also asks for photos of the teenagers carrying out the tasks as proof for his approval. Once the 50 challenges are completed, the game directs the player to commit suicide, which is the ultimate task. This game allegedly spread quite quickly in countries like Bangladesh, China, India, and Iran, while it is not too prominent in the West.

Recently, two children, a 13-year-old girl and a 12-year-old boy, in Saudi Arabia killed themselves after participating in a challenge via an online game. Following these deaths, the Saudi General Commission for Audio-Visual Media has banned some of the popular video games citing “unspecified violations of rules and regulations.” According to the commission, it plans to ban 47 popular games that include The Witcher 3, Assassin’s Creed 2, and the most lucrative game of 2017, Grand Theft Auto v.

Given below is a complete list of games banned by the Saudi General Commission for Audio-Visual Media:

Agents of Mayhem
Assassins Creed 2
Attack on Titan 2
Bayonetta 2
Clash of the Titans
Dante’s Inferno
Dead Rising 3 Apocalypse Edition
Deadpool
Deception IV: The Nightmare Process
Deus Ex Mankind Divided
Devils Third
DmC – Definitive edition
Dragon Age: Inquisition
Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen
Draw to Death
Final Fantasy Dissidia
Fist of the North Star: Ken’s Rage 2
God of War 1
God of War 2
God of War 3
Grand Theft Auto V
Heavy Rain
Hitman: Absolution (2012)
Life is Strange
Mafia 2
Mafia 3
Metro Redux
Okami
One Piece Burning Blood
Past Cure
Prison Architect
Resident Evil 5
Resident Evil 6
Saints Row IV
SplatterHouse
Street Fighter V
Street Fighter 30th Anniversary
The Order 1886
The Saboteur
The Witcher 3
The Nonary Game
Thief
Vampyr
Watch Dogs
Wolfenstein 2
Wolfenstein: The New Order
YO-KAI WATCH

While it has been alleged that the children had been encouraged to commit suicide after playing the so-called ‘Blue Whale’ social media game, the agency did not address what connection does the social media challenge have in the issuance of its ban. However, it is worth noting that all the above-mentioned 47 games that are listed for ban have elements of violence in it.

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