Video games with first-person shooters have always been around, and more often than not, they're dubbed as "violent for kids." Studies trying to prove the link between violent video games and real-life violence go back as far as the 80s.
"Whitney DeCamp, an associate professor of sociology at Western Michigan University, says the evidence points to either no relationship between playing video games and violent behavior or an 'insignificant' link between the two," according to CNN.
As for Christopher Ferguson, associate professor and co-chairman of the Department of Psychology at Stetson University, he believes "violent video games may help reduce societal violence rather than increase it."
Still, several scholars and politicians believe the correlation exists.
Saudi social worker and family consultant Safaa Al Omair believes one of the most popular games at the moment, PlayerUnknown's BattleGround - aka PUBG - is dangerous and can lead people to become "introverted and violent."
"PUBG is a violent game that makes people prone to evil and violent thoughts. It can also lead some to develop aggressive behaviors and actions, including murder," she told Sabq news site.
Al Omair explained that the game may lead its players to develop mental illnesses, making them "introverted and only able to communicate with others via online platforms."
Warning parents of the game's dangers, Al Omairi spoke of its negative effect on players, urging people not to allow children below the age of 10 to sign up for it online.
"Several global mental health organizations have warned against similar violent games, including PUBG. They can lead to several psychological illnesses especially in young children, as they affect mental development," she explained.
"The game can also be addictive and cause problems that need years of psychological treatment," she added.
Arabs, especially Saudis, were not very thrilled with her statement, even though many shared her belief.
"These are facts"
However, several tweeps highlighted this point
"The game isn't made for children, its age limit is 17+. Parents must monitor their kids when they give them mobile phones."
"With all due respect to this consultant, what did she base these statements on?"
"This is a new game and no one can affirm the effects of playing it yet.
"We've always played violent games and we didn't turn out to be murderers"
"It all depends on how children are raised, you can't keep blaming electronic games over the lack proper parenting."
On Feb. 14, 2018, a mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, U.S., took the lives of 17 students and injured another 17. A survivor, Chris Grady, argued that playing violent videos don't necessarily lead to violent behavior.
"I grew up playing video games ... first-person shooter games, and I would never, ever dream of taking the lives of any of my peers," he said.
PUBG continues to be a huge hit across the region
Al Omair isn't the only specialist who has criticized PUBG. International experts have previously warned of its dangers, among other addictive video games. Subsequently, the World Health Organization (WHO) added gaming disorder to the addictive disorders section in June 2018.
Despite the fact that the game has been tied to violent incidents in the region, including the stabbing of a teen boy in Kuwait, many believe linking these to PUBG is baseless.
Millions across the world continue to play the online game and many Arabs are huge fans of it. Some have even started dubbing it the "Arab Tinder" after stories of couples meeting and falling in love through it went viral online.