Friday, December 28, 2012

I'm thinking: Why video games can be BAD?

I think the main reason to call video games bad is purely psychological. Games are bad when the player completely forgets about the real world and finds solace only in the virtual world. Many thinkers, scientists etc call this as "game addiction". Well i don't. I'am neither a thinker nor scientist but I'm a true hardcore video gamer and I think video game addiction is not what the general definition goes. Game addiction for me has a very different meaning and understanding. I will explain it some other post. But the point is, I, as a video gamer do think video games can be bad. This is because games are only meant for fun and entertainment and nothing else. And when a player considers games as his only work/job, he is in trouble. He is in trouble psychologically.

If you find such a player then there is something wrong with his daily life. Such people do not find the real world challenging enough or do not find the world around them more rewarding.The exact thing that a good fun video game provides. There can be various reasons for them to think this way. They may not be happy with the way things are going with their school or college or work life, peer pressure, bad or ignored parenting. The list can be big. And so is the reason why people who don't play games think that they are bad for their children/spouse/friend.So you see, it is a psychological problem, isn't it?

The other reason I think why a game can be bad, is the game itself. 7 out of 10 games are not worth playing. They would either be gruesomely violent, have horrible gameplay or show content which is not suitable for the age of the player. This will definitely affect the person playing that game. And i think the ESRB ratings wont stop the age groups to play games not meant for them. Game developers should know that action is good, but also action should be fun. Somehow the "fun" part goes missing while creating a graphically awesome, massive action packed game, for most of the developers. And when such game falls into the hands of the wannabe player, it will only ruin his gaming spirit.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Gaming Culture

In India, Bangalore is the video gaming hub. There is no second thought about that. But there is this one thought I just cannot ignore: Gaming is extremely expensive here. I mean if you want to enjoy the latest released Halo4 on XBOX360 and BlacksOps2 on PS3, you will have to shell out close to Rs.200 per hour. 200 Rupees per hour? Are you kidding me?. I know these are high end console games, but don't you think this is over expensive. Even the online PC gaming will cost you near 100 bucks. Still expensive for an average Indian expenditure.

If this is the situation in Bangalore and happens to be in other parts of the country, then how are we supposed to have a video gaming culture here?. Yes, we do not have a video gaming culture in India yet. A culture is defined by the participation and the awareness of the people across age groups.Having said that ,the gaming participation is inversely proportion to its cost and directly proportional to its awareness. The more affordable gaming will be, the more participation it will get and will create even more awareness. And a land where every single rupee spent demands acceptable returns, the current gaming conditions are not fruitful.

Current gaming condition is limited to Social Games on Facebook, Google+ and Mobile games. These games are mostly freemium. Even though this has definitely set the momentum, it is not enough to say that we have gaming culture. It is too soon to say that. But until and unless we keep pace with the gaming world outside India, we will be behind. To improve the conditions, I think, below bulleted points could help in the near future to guarantee a gaming culture among us.

  • Good Fun games should be created here in India itself. Not many games, but a few GOOD games. Look at "Angry Birds".
  • More and more people from all age groups should get access to free video game playtime. This includes consoles like PS3, XBOX360,Wii and handheld consoles like PSP,WiiU. Let them experience the power of gaming for free. If you can convince them that gaming is worth spending money on then it will set the wheels rolling.
  • And last but no the least, The gaming cafes should have affordable charges and schemes. and should remember that gaming is for everybody and not just rich pocket people. Cafes are the best way to experience games before buying the hardware or without even buying it. I have spent countless hours of my gameplay in gaming cafes. They are worth every penny if made affordable. I have played PS2 games in my city for Rs.10 per hour. Now hows that?