Age no bar for gaming enthusiasts
Deccan Chronicle.| Rachel Dammala
Many in the 50-70 age group who spoke to Deccan Chronicle said they enjoy their fair share of online gaming. (DC File Photo)
HYDERABAD: Digital gaming is not just the domain of youngsters, tech-savvy city dwellers show, with many who started playing bike or car racing games at internet cafes decades ago have kept up with times to play the latest games on computers, phones and gaming consoles.
Many in the 50-70 age group who spoke to Deccan Chronicle said they enjoy their fair share of online gaming, stressing it to be a safe experience.
Prabha Narayan Rao, a resident of Chilkalguda who is a homemaker, said she started her journey by playing a game about saving a town from an invasion, taking a cue from her son, during the Covid-19 lockdowns.
"I honestly just wanted to play along jokingly but then got hooked. My scores kept getting better and I play with international players often. I also play with my nieces and nephews when we gather for a family get-together," Rao said.
Admitting that it was addictive at first, she said she stayed away from the gaming console until she learnt how to balance her time.
Vara Kumar B., a 55-year-old entrepreneur, says that it’s sometimes not the game in itself that is addictive, but it is the need to keep up with the scores set by peers.
"When we see our peers (gamers) get higher up the scorecard, we obviously want to do better. The more we play, the more chances to win. So, it's not only about playing well but playing often," said Kumar.
He said that better scores are surely a badge of pride, and also bring with them new weapons and unlock exclusive challenges in the game.
Laxmikanth P., a businessman, who lived in the United States and the Middle East earlier, enjoyed playing these online games when in-between jobs. He said he moved to India two years ago and that he would not recommend playing games online.
"I still do it once in a while to kill time and play games that challenge my mind and language when I take flights, but those are safe ones. This, because it's easy to lose control over entertainment and I've seen a close friend suffer," he said.
Psychologists, however, say that healthy gaming, whether online or offline, is a great way to beat boredom.
"Some can be gory and (it is) best to stay away from, but even the simplest ones to brainy games and playing with opponents are enough to keep the mind active. This has the potential to even keep other mental health issues at bay or delay them. Sometimes, it also helps people keep calm," said Arya Naik, a counselling psychologist in the city, appealing to people to make themselves aware of the dangers of being online and not indulge excessively.