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Saudi Arabia bans 47 video games including GTA V

A few days ago, we learned that 86% of parents in the UK do not pay any attention to age ratings for games. While this is a problem that likely needs to be remedied, another problem concerning video games has arisen, this time in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia has banned 47 popular video games, reportedly in response to two children committing suicide due to the Blue Whale Challenge.

The Blue Whale Challenge is a "game" that gives incrementally difficult tasks to the player, most of which have elements of self-harm. The ultimate challenge requires the player to commit suicide. Although the viral phenomenon did not spread to the west, it allegedly spread quite quickly in countries like Bangladesh, China, India, and Iran. Apparently, the challenge also led to the suicides of two 12- and 13-year old children in Saudi Arabia.

As a result, reports indicate that authorities in Saudi Arabia have decided to ban 47 games, including extremely popular ones like Grand Theft Auto V, The Witcher 3, Hitman: Absolution, God of War, Wolfenstein II, and various games from the Resident Evil series. The full list of games can be seen below:

  1. Agents of Mayhem
  2. Assassins Creed 2
  3. Attack on titan 2
  4. Bayonetta 2
  5. Clash of the Titans
  6. Dante's Inferno
  7. Dead Rising 3 Apocalypse Edition
  8. Deadpool
  9. Deception IV : The Nightmare Princess
  10. Deus Ex Mankind Divided
  11. Devil's Third
  12. DmC - Definitive edition
  13. Dragon Age: Inquisition
  14. Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen
  15. Draw to Death
  16. Dissidia Final Fantasy NT
  17. Fist of the North Star: Ken's Rage 2
  18. God of War 1
  19. God of War 2
  20. God of War 3
  21. Grand Theft Auto V
  22. Heavy Rain
  23. Hitman: Absolution (2012)
  24. Life is Strange
  25. Mafia 2
  26. Mafia 3
  27. Metro Redux
  28. Okami
  29. One Piece Burning Blood
  30. Past Cure
  31. Prison Architect
  32. Resident Evil 5
  33. Resident Evil 6
  34. Saints Row IV
  35. Splatterhouse
  36. Street Fighter V
  37. Street Fighter 30th Anniversary
  38. The Order 1886
  39. The Saboteur
  40. The Witcher 3
  41. The Nonary Game
  42. Thief
  43. Vampyr
  44. Watch Dogs
  45. Wolfenstein 2
  46. Wolfenstein: The New Order

While authorities have not clarified what links the aforementioned 47 games to the tragic suicides, it is important to note that most of these games do contain elements of violence. That said, violence would still be a strange reason to outright ban so many games without any prior public indication.

Source: The Saudi General Commission for Audio-Visual Media via GameRant

Why do you think Saudi Arabia has taken this drastic action? Let us know in the comments section below!

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