File photo: Children play online game PUBG on their mobile phones. Image Credit: AP

Abu Dhabi: An 11-year-old child committed suicide by hanging in his family’s home in Sharkia Governorate, northern Egypt, after his family denounced him for over-playing the online game PUBG.

The Egyptian Public Prosecution began investigating the accident, after seizing the body.

Initial investigations and statements by the child’s family showed that he killed himself by hanging in his bedroom, following constant disputes with his family over the game..

The death occurred in the village of Kafr Abrash, in Mashtool Al Souq.

This is the second death of a child in a week related to the PUBG game in Egypt.

On September 29, the prosecution said it was conducting an investigation into the death of a child in Port Said, in the northeast of the country, due to suspicion of its association with practicing some electronic games.

The prosecution said that medical examination of the child’s body revealed the cause of his death, after suffering a sudden rise in blood pressure caused by obesity.

The prosecutor added in a statement that the child’s parents said their son was busy playing with his mobile phone on the night of his death, and that he was constantly playing electronic games, especially PUBG.

Fatwa prohibits the game

Al Azhar, the highest religious institution in Egypt, issued a warning in 2018 about the harms of online games on young children, and republished its fatwa prohibiting the playing of PUBG, citing previous deaths “related to playing the game.”

In 2018, a student in Alexandria governorate stabbed his teacher to death, claiming that PUBG had pushed him to commit a crime.

The student, who was 16 at the time, indicated that killing people was one of the main goals of the game, and that he imagined he was inside the game.

Al Azhar advised parents to monitor their children around the clock, check the mobile applications they use, reduce the time they spend on screens, and encourage practicing other activities such as sports and study.

The makers of the game also published an apology last June after a new feature was added that users said forces players to “kneel” in front of “statues” to obtain in-game resources.

And after the great controversy that this feature raised, the game’s administrators announced the removal of the feature.

In a statement published on its official Arabic account on Twitter and Facebook, the company expressed its regret “about the new features in the game causing discontent among the players.”

“We have taken measures and removed the feature. The PUBG MOBILE game team respects all religions and does its utmost to provide a safe gaming environment for everyone,” the company added.

The Egyptian Dar Al Iftaa sent a letter of thanks at that time to the team behind the game “PUBG” after the controversial feature was removed.

What is PUBG?

PUBG is a game on smartphones and computers, which appeared in 2017.

Its idea is based on online battles with players from different parts of the world.

The game has spread widely in a number of Arab countries, especially among adolescents.