‘Click Click Boom!’ This is not the song by Saliva from The Fast and The Furious, but is the phrase mark of the youth of today who look for salvation in the virtual world of cyber gaming. In gaming terms, these ‘frag’ addicts do not find movie going, hookaing and ‘hanging out’ interesting. They claim to be the third generation professionals, immortal and omnipresent in the cyber world.
“I’ve never missed a match of Barcelona or Argentina because I love watching Lionel Messi play. Thanks to EA sports, I have a virtual Messi on my computer and it feels great to score against him,” exclaims Rohan who is now a professional FIFA 2009 player. The widely famous game was released by EA sports recently and quickly joined the list of top rated games alongside games like Cricket ’09. With development of technology, software and graphic design companies have made the average computer games life like and realistic. Gaming is now more than just entertainment. There were a few games released in the recent past which have won international acclaim and have become so popular as multi player games because they involve team work, strategy and timing like any other sport. Now, teams from many countries have world championships, sponsors and a brand of their own. Counter Strike is a three dimensional first person shooter (FPS) game that involves real time player interaction through a LAN network. This and others like Dota All Stars are considered to be the best strategic team games.
“I don’t feel like going to college today. I’m just level 43 and I need to level up somehow,” says Aftab who is a regular Talisman Online player. He spends real money on game goods of Talisman which is a pay – n – play MMORPG.“I have an exam at college but I’m here for the weekly tournament. Pride matters,” says Kalyan. The magical world of cyber gaming has slowly taken over the youth of Hyderabad and more than twenty gaming stations in the city are filled with students all day long. Few of these hubs like Reliance Web world have Java Green Franchisees which add to their profits. “I don’t like my lecturer, so I don’t go to college. I don’t have the kind of money to hang around all day long. So my morning destination is a gaming centre. My parents wouldn’t even look for me here and I can smoke in peace,” smirks Kiran. It might seem like a hyped-up internet hub, but in reality, it is a mini war front. Zapak, Indias first gaming company with its chain of gaming centers all over India has been promoting professional gaming. Groups of five which are referred to as clans participate in these events and compete for the weekly prize. A simple game, in many cases is the cause for personal rifts and winning or losing becomes a matter of pride. The players tend to get real hyper and there is lots of in-game drama which only a gamer would relish.
“Owned!” shrieks Teja as he makes his first kill against the opponent. Gamers of Hyderabad have a different terminology of their own. On the darker side, this new trend has taken over many young people of the city and is a fast spreading epidemic. A lot of money is involved in the game and students are the main victims as they lose precious time, money and their academics above all.
Computer games are for fun and are supposed to be refreshing or in some cases should be able to enhance the thinking power of an individual. Cyber gaming is not advisable in India as it cannot provide a future and as we all know, Cricket is the only game which has sponsors. Gaming is the best form of entertainment for a college going guy, but only if he can have his mind under control. “I won’t die, because I am a gamer. I have many lives”.