It is not just a random occurrence but a prevailing trend these days that every brand-new, big-budget game comes with a day-one patch. Yes, it was a reality till the...
Gaming industry today is advancing rapidly. However, I don’t see many heads always with quality astute. Albeit, the wide range of gaming platforms are providing numerous attractive options for the end-users, the gaming side interest is still considered extremely costly and ‘damaging’ in India. Individuals do play a considerable measure of diversions here. Most of the parents and people in the Indian society have a negative opinion regarding video games and the entire industry. So the blame ‘game’ continues.
Are you really in control?
- If by any chance, you are getting corpulent due to any reason, would you accuse the individual who efficiently feeds you?
- If by any chance, you eat 10 dessert mugs in a day and come down with a pathetic cold, would you accuse the fellow who sold you the frozen yogurt containers in the first place?
- If by any chance, you spend a whole school year watching movies on a regular basis, would you accuse the actors and theater owners of your subsequent disappointment in your exams?
- Also, if by chance, you spend most of your time gaming, at the expense of your classes, would you accuse the video games industry, for your disappointments in your scholastic life?
The myths and beginning
The obvious answer to every single question listed above is a big NO! Why? Because you make your own decisions. It’s pointless to accuse other individuals, various factors or different commercial ventures if you are overdoing the things that you do. You ought to do everything in a controlled manner so as to avoid regrets.
I have had many individuals say to me, “Kindly don’t acquaint yourself with our children because you work in the video games industry!” Strangely, they are always eager to get their children inspired in the professions that never caught their interests in the first place. I have seen individuals saying “Thank God the gaming industry in India is not booming like US, Japan or China!” Indeed, I have even seen people blaming video games for every wretched circumstance in their lives. Now, I am beginning to feel that soon, the majority of the Indian folks will start to directly accuse video games even when their kid experience constipation! To make sure that it doesn’t get to this, I aim to educate people about gaming, and the industry in general, through this huge article.
Keeping up with technological developments
Today, the video game industry alone is actually a few times bigger than every other medium of entertainment put together (including, although, not limited to the music and silver screen industry of all nations). We are as of now, taking a gander at mobile games earning millions of dollars daily and the PC/Console-based games that are literally doing billion dollar businesses within the first 2-3 days of launching. Even the greatest blockbuster movies of all times don’t get this much earning. With this, you can envision the force and reach of the video games industry. Have you ever considered the occupation and opportunities created in this industry? Enormous! And this area is much excessively specialized. You can find my article about career opportunities in the games industry on this website only.
Slowly but steadily, the games industry has actually begun changing the method for instructing and educating individuals of all age groups about everything. Schools are utilizing gamified books and even intuitive diversions to teach kids about almost everything that cannot be taught by any instructor. It’s logically demonstrated that video games can help the general advancement of mind and critical level reasoning. Also, lots of crucial things and even the foundations can be taught more easily and more efficiently with the medium of video games. It’s “natural” for the human cerebrum to handle and retain everything that is introduced in an entertaining way.
Today, video games are the greatest medium of excitement. Even people enjoy spectating the matches of gamers playing in multiplayer mode. That makes another billion dollar industry of eSports. Amazon, Google, EA, Activision, Riot Games, Valve are some of the big names making massive investments in this area. I won’t be surprised if eSports attracts more viewers than the most popular sports events in future.
Stop assuming and start thinking
No doubt, the invention of gaming was purely based on the purpose of entertainment just like every other medium, and various sports. But have you ever considered playing video games as some sort of intellectual activity through casual or organized participation, with the aim to use, maintain or improve mental abilities, while providing entertainment to spectators? Most of the multiplayer video games can help build great team-work among kids at a very young age. The super entertaining way makes learning anything easy for them. Moving to adults, many non-gaming organizations today are utilizing gamification for transfer of required idea, core objectives and relevant information to their employees. Not only the process of training existing staff, but even the recruitment process in many multinational companies also incorporate video games for evaluation of applicant’s aptitude, thinking limit, decision-making ability, overall mental reflexes and general brain processing. Deloitte is one of such organizations utilizing video games in recruitment process despite the fact that the core operations of the organization are far away from gaming.
Keeping the instruction with diversions aside, regardless of the fact that we consider video games as an unadulterated medium for entertainment, Indian folks (especially the ones from the previous generation), are extraordinarily one-sided about gaming recreations and having a significant degree of negative considerations about the same. As a general rule, many people in their circle are occupied with Candy Crush on Mobile or some other casual game on Facebook, even during office hours. Yet, they are hypocritical about their thoughts towards the gaming industry and individuals who are bringing home the bread & butter out of it.
Why act like a hypocrite?
A career in the games industry starting with QA testing is way more specialized and mind boggling when contrasted with conventional software testing. It’s way more technical even for a certified and experienced software engineer. An experienced and passionate gamer with right presentation skills to a wide assortment of video games can produce a favorable report for all the stakeholders. Innovative thinking, years of exposure to the ever-evolving industry and experience of all genres of games is crucial in the process of quality assurance for video games. Many of such variables make the game validation a very specialized sector. You can’t just say that testing a developed game is simple and a piece of cake. Beyond that, the validation process itself runs in parallel to the development. The development may never start if the core concept of the game is not ‘validated.’ Testing gameplay mechanics is just a small part of a video game validation process.
It’s way more specialized, intricate and element in nature, when contrasted with QA testing of non-gaming applications. If you ask me, most of the computer graduates or post-grads and even ‘experienced’ software testers (from non-gaming industry) should not (and must not from a business point of view) be even considered ‘eligible’ for testing of any kind of game. Especially if they do not have very ‘good’ knowledge of the games industry, latest technologies/platforms, high exposure to various genres of games and the average ‘flaws’/issues’ faced by end-users in real-life scenarios. Here, I am not even talking about the complexity of end-to-end video game validation process and the entire game development life-cycle. This is probably outside the understanding of most non-gaming professionals who otherwise would take the video game validation profile very casually.
I have seen and heard of many examples in which so-called ‘successful’ people make fun of video game industry professionals. A case in point would be an NRI guy working on some IT job in a foreign country and making millions (in INR) purely because of the currency difference. And with a huge spotlight, this guy never has the guts to reveal the fact that his work is no rocket science when compared with his Indian counterpart. In fact, in most cases, that’s nowhere close to the average profiles of the ever evolving & electric video-game industry. Still, you may apparently have to deal with this guy’s shameless hypocrisy as he says things like-
- “Oh, so you work in the video games industry? Man, you are enjoying the easy job of playing games! And my job is very complicated!”
- “So you are developing your own video game? That’s not a full-time job, man. What exactly you do for a living?”
Such guys never really understand the adrenaline rush, thrill, and excitement that is always present in the video game industry despite various challenges involved therein. Of course, not everyone can be successful in this massive industry.
Face the reality that you’re living in denial
An excess of anything is hurtful for anybody, at any time. It’s as simple as that. Try not to be biased about gaming. Start birthing brand new ideas. In case you can’t get your brain to instantly think and process ideas, start playing chess. If you can’t play chess or don’t like chess, start playing any video game of your choice that can fortify your cerebrum and boost your brain processing abilities.
I am not certain if it’s low intellectual quotient or lack of common sense in many Indian folks. However, I not seen them saying no to their children’s dependence on copious things such as:
- Staring at the TV for hours,
- Going to movies with ‘companions,’ savoring alcohol,
- Celebrating with ‘friends’ on some slope station or farmhouse and lot many things that even a grown-up thinks twice about, before doing, a lot of times.
But the same inhabitants/parents/geezers will protest in a flash even if you talk about video-games! I would personally suggest that parents who have a dislike for video games should do the following:
- Send your child to play cricket for 1 hour to have some physical exercise.
- Send your child to Karate classes to prepare for self-defense.
- Allow your child to play video games for a limited period for a unique and unadulterated learning experience without the involvement of any other person, in light of your decision.
At the end of the day, if you do not have the capacity to control your kid’s fixation in gaming, you can’t save him from any kind of addiction in life. That is your failure as a guardian. Sooner or later, you’d have to reserve a place in some sort of rehab center. Also, it isn’t the fault of the gaming industry.
No matter what, everything in this world has a dark side. Simple law of nature.
The sole motivation behind today’s technology & innovation, including, however, not limited to PC’s, Laptops, tablet/smartphone devices is to offer simple access to incalculable applications, make your day by day work simple, give access to online networking, serenely mechanize/automate numerous things, have special experience and ‘bliss’. Naturally, every of such gadget and technology draws you towards covered dependence which “might” result in fundamental well-being issues like back pain, stiff neck, vision loss, wrist problems, numb fingers, short-term memory loss, slurred speech and numerous different things, as indicated by various reports. Many studies clearly show that you rely less on your own knowledge and memory because of the frequent use of the internet, which ultimately leads to reduced brain processing and increased chances of dementia. On the other hand, a recent study has proved in the University of California, that playing 3D video games may boost memory! Researchers are already working on conclusions that involve a use of video games for curing dementia. Now, keeping aside the 3D games and their potential benefits, do you ever call the technological innovations “awful” purely because of the above reasons and place all that into the same classification as video games? If yes, why are you still using your laptop, your smartphone, and even the Internet? You are better off in Tarzan’s tribe!
Try to understand that we live in the era of technology that has many side-effects, and an overdose of any kind is a ‘killer.’ Knowingly or unknowingly, every person in this world is suffering from some sort of overdose. You just can’t say that one type of overdose is better than the other.
Are hypocrisy and biased mentality also hampering the jobs in India?
The higher level education system in India is not necessarily useful for creating employment for everyone. In fact, the ‘real’ and ‘useful’ education for most youngsters is offered by their employers. The graduation or post-graduation literally looks ‘useless’ when compared with the real education that matters the most.
- Indian parents decide the career stream without even considering the child’s interest, passion, grasping ability for various topics and opinions on a particular subject. A good example would be a mechanical guy working in an IT company as a coder. What’s the relevance here? Even some school-going kid can be trained for coding work! Why waste years in engineering? (Yeah, wait, but this also applies to QA testing and millions of other things! What’s the point in showing the world that you have wasted years of your life in useless higher education, whether it’s your degree in the computer line or outside that field?)
- Skipping the path of becoming an employee and jumping directly to entrepreneurship needs the brain, guts, and more importantly, passion. A lot of wrong assumptions are made out of this. It’s a different matter that financial and mental support from family can be a great plus. But that’s not mandatory to become a successful entrepreneur or employer. Becoming an employee of any organization is the easiest task when compared with becoming the employer who is actually responsible for the survival and growth of a team. Let’s hope the ‘Make in India’ and ‘Start-up’ India programs will start changing the mentality of average Indian folks and create more examples of successful employers.
- Selection of career is purely based on comparison with somebody else and the so-called ‘prestige’ related to becoming an employee at some MNC. It’s a different matter that most multinational companies also recruit such candidates who are literally rejected by small start-ups and are clueless about the core operations of the stream. Regardless of their possible contribution, such people are recruited purely for increasing headcount at big organizations. In India, even such people getting huge payments while working as a puppet are considered intelligent and successful. At some point, such recruits, directly and indirectly, hamper the overall employment for the rest in long-term.
- Nontraditional industries (video games industry for instance) are not even considered as an option by average Indians for a career. Even the basic profiles of video games industry are misinterpreted by the most. Many folks in India would make fun of you, look at you suspiciously or start talking sarcastically or in hypocrisy if they come to know that you work in the gaming industry.
- Average Indians are completely clueless about the phenomenal growth of the global gaming industry and the growing viewership related to the same. They’ll laugh at you even if you talk about gaming as some sort of sport. Some high school in Norway will soon be having classes for e-sports on equal terms with other sports-related programs like football or handball. This is just beginning. On the other hand, Indians can’t see or sense anything beyond cricket.
- Regardless of the kind of career, one strong reason draws a fine line between employee and employer. Not everybody understands and respects that enough.
Ever seen or heard about the bright side of video games?
Please understand that every video game is published with a purpose and is usually created for a particular category of end-users. There is always age and content rating promptly and clearly displayed to the buyer. Regardless of that, there needs to be a mature decision maker involved in the purchase of every video game. Thus, nobody is deceitfully selling drugs or something illegal to your kids. Clear?
Many Indians think of video games as an addiction and waste of time (even if one is playing the game purely for requisite entertainment instead of watching some daily soap). Video games are wrongly said to hamper education and way of life. So I would like to enlighten such poor souls.
Regardless of the biased thoughts of many about the video games industry, soon the entire world will be looking at the education, knowledge transfer and way of life in the language of video games due to many advantages such as:
- Game-based learning and assessments provide a fun new way in the field of education(Unlike the traditional pressurizing exams for students).
- Games allow you to socialize, teach you about teamwork, starting with your own comfort zone and allow you to become a free explorer, encouraging you to make mistakes with relatively lower risks, that too in a safer environment than the real world.
- Games provide timely and useful feedback. One can gradually progress towards handling more difficult situations without using help/involvement of any other person.
- Inside a game environment, any kind of feat is rewarded. But failures are not heartbreaking. Instead, they are motivating. This surely keeps away the pressure of exams.
- People with no functional expressive language can use games to demonstrate exceptional problem-solving skills and understanding of complex science concepts. Games meet learners on their own level of understanding and produce results that could not be produced by traditional exams and study methods!
- A deep learning experience is possible through successive failures in video games. By tracking learner’s failures and behavioral outcomes in a video game, one can assess how the core concept was applied, and what kind of persistence / problem-solving ability was demonstrated.
- The real life scenarios can actually be transcended by the video games. For example, students understanding the following:
- Basics required to build a city along with all modern amenities (even the hardcore civil engineer stuff)
- Check of political aspects for the development of the city
- City traffic management
- Socialize with the people with various roles inside that city
- Invent a machine
- Build a theme park
- Debate a top ranking politician on some important topic
- Learn the end-to-end process/business of farming even without using the help of parents/teachers!
- Talking about my own experience relating to the above, I literally learned to build an empire when I was a school-going kid. Destroying the empire of an opponent was more fun, though. LOL. On a serious note, I literally practiced left-hand driving (for my business trip to the USA) by playing a couple of driving simulator games. I learned that quickly. It was pure joy. Otherwise, it’s a tricky task for an Indian guy to start driving a car in the USA.
- Going beyond gamification of school level education, believe me, many graduates/postgraduates/job-seekers in India can significantly benefit from video games even to improve their English, boost ability to think out of the box (or even out of the world) and achieve higher success in today’s open world economy. That’s a different topic altogether, and I’ll leave that to your googling skills!
- The global games market ought to exceed $100 billion by the year 2017. As the medium becomes more famous, new jobs are opening up in the field. video game employment goes past simply making, testing or validating recreations for a mobile, PC or console. The industry needs specialists who accomplish more than simply making the entertainment work. Massive amounts of professions are accessible in video games, and there’s something for pretty much everybody.
- Today, PC video games and eye tracking technologies are used to change the way vision is tested and is even used for concussion detection.
- There are video games that now even make kids brush their teeth regularly and happily.
- Gaming can be inspiring for kids to go for physical activity in unique and innovative ways. Especially the gaming consoles with motion controllers have loads of games to get every possible physical workout that you can actually enjoy. On your game console, you can be playing rugby, volleyball, tennis or any other game to mimic outdoor action inside your living room, breaking you into a nice sweat. In fact, you can master the sport inside your living room before challenging somebody else on the ground.
- Microsoft is using Minecraft to teach basics of coding to kids. Just a small example of education being gamified.
As mentioned here already, gaming can aid people in their studies as it improves concentration, cognitive abilities, memory exercise and so on. Gamers are usually focused on their ‘mission’ while playing the game, and exactly the same concept of intense focus in a dynamic environment of the video game is used to treat dyslexia. Gaming is increasingly used for therapeutic purposes around the world. Even gaming these days is frequently prescribed for post injury recuperation. On top of that, one study on surgeons proved that those who played games at least few hours a week were prone to make lesser errors than their non-gaming peers. Also, mid to old aged people who never experienced video games in their entire lifetime can slow down their aging process significantly, if they spend some time in gaming. Alzheimer is already being treated with video games.
With many such applications, gaming is pushing the human thoughts and abilities to a whole new level. Probably, most doctors in India are completely unaware about this. But still, such highly qualified folks with their so called status, never stop pretending that they know everything, and everything includes “gaming is bad!”
Indian folks, especially the video game haters from the old generation, it’s time to wake up…
Already feeling like you are living in a stone-age? Well, you have not seen anything yet. All of such opportunities to evaluate learning (regardless of the age factor), cannot be implemented in real life. You literally get a virtual ground for practice. You can even call this a “time-travel!” There is a reason behind gamification of the entire process of training of marines, pilots, surgeons and so many other occupations in the world.
How about looking at the future (through a system in virtual reality), check all possibilities, know all respective outcomes of all possible branches and come back to your previous position before making your future-changing decision? With gamification, you can literally eliminate all the barriers of real life by getting the experience in the virtual world first. The possibilities in this industry are limitless. Most of your routine gadgets are already talking the language of gaming. Even the first prepossessing application on VR platform was a video game. We are already looking at the examples of video games being used even during recruitment at large firms that are not anyhow related to video games industry. Beyond that, many organizations across the globe are already using the process of gamification to train their employees for their core operations efficiently. The very first project of GameCloud falls under this category only. Testing the gaming technology that educates the faculties in global top 50 university was quite something. Today, we have returning clients from all over the world with projects that use gaming technologies not only for entertainment but much more than that. And this next level of video games is beyond the understanding of average Indian folks, especially the old generation. I am hoping for a change in this soon.
The faith that I believed in myself and the Industry
Being an enthusiastic gamer since 1987, I have always enjoyed working in and around video games. Me getting recommended by multiple clients across the globe for the game validation services, even before going outside India is just the corollary of my passion for gaming and technology. Even though I did not monetize everything, I founded one of the very few startups that survived to see the light of day (yes, the dark side of start-ups is a different story). I became a steadily growing entrepreneur and employer mentor to many IT graduates and postgraduate who turned into perfect contributors and not brainless puppets. This feat I think I’ll cherish for forever. To me, this is a reward for my passion in gaming. And of course, let’s not forget my parents for not dragging me out of the industry with biased vision!
In my school days, individuals used to laugh at me because I was not intense about vocation in the “blasting” conventional IT division, but in the gaming industry (which is anyway somewhat a mixture of IT, workmanship and with perplexing challenges for average guys). My relatives, especially the ones clueless about reality, told my parents that the future of their child (me) is endangered because of gaming. Even when I was running the biggest and most famous LAN gaming parlor in Pune during my college days, I used to get sarcastic comments like “How is your Cyber Cafe doing?”. I never felt like explaining the ‘real’ difference between a dedicated LAN gaming parlor and typical cyber cafe to them.
Some said working with video games is not prestigious (yes, this is India!). Some just pulled away – my friends purely because I was involved in gaming-related activities. In any case, I disregarded each “master” conclusion and expert opinion to move forward in life. Indeed, even today, I confront a few creeps from the days of yore, asking me “how the hell did you turn out to be so effective after wasting such a great amount of time in computer games?”
I hardly found folks in India who were not biased toward video games and the industry in general. Most were highly biased with negative opinions. I don’t even think that such people, especially biased Indian ‘aunties’ can ever understand the reason behind me constantly exploring all kinds of games, genres and gaming technologies like a schoolkid.
My only recommendation to the Indian folks is, “Quit being wolves in sheep’s clothing and one-sided towards the video games industry. Try not to speak by and large about anything in the business. At any rate, let your kid investigate the world while utilizing his own particular rational soundness and DO stop him in time if you feel he is overdoing it (whether it’s cricket, films, parties, social media, or video games, hold it under control). Indeed, even you can control that.”
A career in the video games industry is a 100% moral way to earn a living. This electrifying industry is super diverse, ever evolving, ever growing and already creating employment for millions of people worldwide. In addition to the usual skill-set required for traditional IT industry, the video games industry demands candidates who truly understand the meaning of artistry, creativity, innovation, passion, guts and ‘job satisfaction.’
Do not judge people working in video games industry, or dish out sarcastic comments on the topic that is completely outside your understanding/grasping. Stop being a hypocrite. You’ll be making a fool of yourself by cursing the video games just because you are not in control of your life. Hopefully, Indian folks will start embracing gaming in the future instead of despising all the games and people associated with the industry.
If by any chance, this article, as it offers deep insight, does not change your partial views about different commercial ventures, especially the video games, your inexperience, and ignorance is bound to last forever!
Laxmikant B Thipse
Founder & CEO
GameCloud Technologies Pvt Ltd