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Saudi Arabia bans 47 popular video games after children’s deaths

Saudi Arabia has banned several video games over concerns for children. Chesnot/Getty Images

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — Saudi Arabia says it’s banning a long list of popular video games after allegations surfaced that two children killed themselves after being encouraged to do so in an online game.

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The Saudi General Commission for Audio-Visual Media said Monday it was banning 47 games, including Grand Theft Auto V, Assassins Creed 2 and Witcher, for unspecified violations of rules and regulations.

The ban was in response to the deaths of a 13-year-old girl and a 12-year-old boy who reportedly killed themselves after playing the so-called “Blue Whale” social media game, though the agency did not say what the connection was.

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Also known as the Blue Whale Challenge, participants are said to be given a series of tasks to complete, capped with killing themselves at the end.

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