Fortnite and PUBG are now banned in Iraq

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The government of Iraq has voted to ban the popular battle royale games Fortnite and Playerunknown's Battlegrounds because of their detrimental influence on the population. A Reuters report says the ban was put into place "due to the negative effects caused by some electronic games on the health, culture, and security of Iraqi society, including societal and moral threats to children and youth." 

Moqtada al-Sadr, a Shi'ite cleric and former head of the Mahdi Army militia that battled government and US-led occupation forces from 2004-2008, warned that PUBG is addictive and called on the government to ban it last week. "What will you gain if you killed one or two people in PUBG? It is not a game for intelligence or a military game that provides you with the correct way to fight,” al-Sadr wrote in a statement released last week.   

Reaction to the ban was widely negative, according to the report, but not because people are angry that they can't play Fortnite. They may be, but the real issue is that Iraqis apparently see the ban as a emblematic of the government's misplaced priorities: While Iraq continues to struggle with sectarian violence, inadequate infrastructure, and political instability, the country's parliament has only managed to pass one piece of legislation since sitting in September 2018, a 2019 federal budget law that was passed in January. 

The Iraqi ban follows shortly behind a ban on PUBG in Nepal, although Fortnite is still okay there as far as I know. The police in the Indian city of Ahmedabad also imposed a ban on PUBG Mobile, although that has since been lifted.   

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.