Udayavni Special

Desi video gamers DOG* is still AFS**

*Day/s of glory, **Away from screen/scene

Harsha Rao, Jul 8, 2021, 8:26 AM IST

Credit: iStock Photo

In June 2021, South Korea-based video game developer Krafton released ‘Battlegrounds Mobile India,’ a made-for-India mobile video game.

It was released in less than a year after the Indian government banned its earlier iteration Players Unknown Battlegrounds (PUBG) for having its servers in China where the country’s government could easily access data of millions of Indians playing it.

The new release did not cause much fanfare in India as video gamers were able to play PUBG through the use of Virtual Private Networks and other such means even after the ban.

It was so thought by many that the company would not release an India-only version to assuage the government’s concerns. However, that was proven wrong.

India was PUBG’s largest market and the only way to recover from the loss after the ban was to pander their way into the country.

What was, to a small extent, unnoticed was the unrealised potential and power that the Indian video gamers had unknowingly acquired.

The non-organisation of this community is making India miss some vast addition it can make as a sector of the Indian economy.

India video gamers do not feature largely in most of the international video gaming tournaments nor are any national-level league breaking any mould.

The stigma ingrained with video gaming probably needs more belligerent resistance as most of it comes from the unattended but intellectualised bunch of pop psychiatrists.

Field sports saved their grace from this serially alarm-publishing army.

Sachin Tendulkar would never be called addicted even if he had practised 18 hours a day for his next swing on the pitch.

Playing video games, till the time of writing this piece, has never given anyone a career-ending elbow injury.

More vitiation was slapped by the shillings than the shrinks.

Television advertisements featuring real sportsters panegyrize fantasy sports and online card games brought a sense that has dead stuck in even Candy Crush players that their massified harmless pass time is becoming gamblers den.

Nothing wrong in saying that a tender begrudgement now lays in most of the potential (could-be-professional) Indian video gamers especially those from the taluks and village blocks (‘rural areas’ would not be nuanced).

The curtain of curtailment for them is being pulled by the familial rather than social.

But then it’s always the toughness of the gameplay that makes the video game worth it and not the rewards.

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