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The Social Aspect of Gaming: Building Communities in the Digital Era

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5 Dariya News

5 Dariya News

5 Dariya News

19 Feb 2024

The 2023 edition of the Digital Gaming India Expo attracted over 44,000 attendees and 200 startups. The participants came from various gaming backgrounds like arcade games, action and adventure games, AR/VR games, puzzle and strategy games, and card and casino games, to name a few. It not only showcased the vastness of the digital gaming industry but also highlighted the growth of the strong gaming community in the country. 

Gaming’s Big Leap Towards Digitisation

India is home to many online and offline events like the Digital Gaming India Expo. These events have been instrumental in building a community of gamers in the country. Established gaming companies and up-and-coming startups showcase their developments at these events. These events are also often a demonstration of the cutting-edge technological breakthroughs made in the online games industry. This includes the use of augmented reality, virtual reality, blockchain technology, NFT, robotics, etc., in gaming.

Gadget Guns Blazing

By October 2023, India had more than 931 million smartphone users. This is expected to reach 1.1 billion by 2025. Smartphone penetration was negligible 10 years ago and has doubled in the last five years. If the launch of 4G in 2012 was groundbreaking, the introduction of 5G proved to be a game-changer. 100 million subscribers are using 5G as of December 2023. 

The rapid penetration of smartphones in the country, combined with the availability of affordable mobile data, has catapulted the Indian gaming community into the mobile gaming ecosystem. It suddenly became very easy to download rummy apps or poker apps and play them without interruption or latency. 

The Pandemic Push

The average weekly time spent on mobile games in India was 2.1 hours. This amounted to 11% of total smartphone use. Within a month of the COVID-19 lockdown, this figure soared to 4.5 hours, i.e., 15% of total smartphone use. The interesting part is that after the lockdown, the figure didn’t go back to the pre-COVID levels. At 3.1 hours per week, it was obvious that the pandemic played its part in the development of a bigger gaming community in India. Besides, the online games industry is largely relying on smartphones. In India, 98% of internet users use mobile internet. Out of this population, 85% are engaged in one or more forms of mobile games. 

The COVID-19 pandemic proved to be a black swan event for the industry. Its disruptive impact restricted physical mobility and social interaction, thus creating a vacuum, which was filled in by the online rummy, poker and ludo apps. Gaming apps mirrored the social significance of conventional social media platforms and became an alternative to social interaction. With features like voice chat, proximity chat and activity feeds, gaming platforms became the go-to place for pastime, entertainment, and socialising as well.

Pay As You Play

With more than 15 crore paying users already active in India, real-money games and gaming-related expenditures have been on a constant rise. Facilitating this tilt towards a fund-based gaming mindset is the widespread popularity of the Unified Payments Interface (UPI). The ease of using UPI meant that players could pay small amounts before and during the game quickly and effortlessly. Depositing some funds to play a round of rummy online, participating in an online poker tournament or making an in-app purchase is now easier than ever before.

Platforms on Front Foot

The efforts of the gaming platforms in building digital-era gaming communities cannot go unnoticed. The various Indian gaming industry bodies have been unanimous in maintaining high standards in the gaming platforms. This has enhanced the faith of the typical Indian gamer on these platforms. Leading gaming platforms have adopted a Code of Ethics to foster ethical gaming practices in the gaming ecosystem in India. By promoting responsible gaming, barring underage gaming, adopting responsible marketing practices, and, above all, ensuring player safety and fair play, these platforms have reiterated their customer-first approach.

On the other hand, the organising of popular tournaments has further widened the gaming community in India. When you download rummy game and play, it’s an exercise in relative isolation. However, tournaments are the test of skills against a much wider demographic. Leading gaming platforms like RummyCulture have gone on to garner record-shattering participation in such tournaments. Their Sunday Mega Blockbuster saw a Guinness World Record attendance of 2.15 lakhs!

Towards a Vibrant Online Gaming Community

The online games industry filled a substantial entertainment vacuum in India, which is reflected in the industry’s rapid growth. Situational factors like smartphone penetration, internet reach and the pandemic played their part in the development of a thriving gaming community in India. The platforms, on their part, have left no stone unturned. From gaming ethics to tournament frenzy, the digital-era gaming community is being reinforced with a solid foundation of trust and popularity.

Disclaimer: Please play responsibly and at your own risk. This post contains material that may or may not be legal in your country. Please play/not play subject to applicable law.

 

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