Are you game for it?

Pop Culture

Are you game for it?

In recent times, there has been a rise of enthusiastic gamers and gaming lounges in the City — be it physically cutting through an air hockey court or navigating on a touchscreen through cutting-edge technology. With a boom in the business, gaming has now emerged as a cult phenomenon and is more than just a stress-buster. 

Be it tired corporate professionals or vibrant college students, including girls, who have an urge to explore their creativity, these games have grabbed their attention. 

Vishwanath, the marketing manager of ‘I Am Game’, a gaming lounge at Kammanahalli, says that the place sees more than 150 people during weekdays and 350 people during the weekends to experience the thrill on the celluloid screen while Praveen, the owner of a gaming lounge at Kammanahalli has about 30 people grabbing 15 systems that he has in his cafe. Vishwanath says, “The crowd mainly comprises of corporates, college students and sometimes, even young children. As about 60 per cent of the people are from outside Bengaluru, gaming is one of their top leisure activities.” 
People take up games to improve cognition too as most people feel that they are a path to improve work-efficiency and build healthy relationships with teammates. Praveen, who generates a revenue of Rs 60,000 per month, says that as games involve permutation, combination, multitasking and a high-thinking ability to navigate through till the finish, people play their strengths to their maximum potential.

 “Gaming helps people break their routine pattern of thinking.” Arvind, the CEO of LxG, a popular gaming lounge, says that games help build hand-eye coordination and improve attention span. 

Game lounges are great attraction centres also because they are always abuzz with activities like game-jams, events,  tournaments and even team-building activities for corporates. A Swiss-India collaboration on a gaming event was also held recently. The great ambience, attached cafe, high-end infrastructure and a variety like ‘Foosball’, ‘Air hockey’, ‘Laser Tag’ and ‘Need for Speed’, apart from the regular ‘FIFA’, DotA and ‘Call of Duty’, help game lounges see regular visitors.
Lounges are also now seen as a space for socialisation, as kids come in and celebrate birthday parties too. Vishwanath says that this demand-driven approach has led to ‘I Am Game’ starting in Koramangala and Sarjapur as well. “Now, we are considering opening a fourth branch as well.” Tamizh, a professional, who has been gaming ever since his school days says that gaming brings in a sense of relaxation like no other sport. “It’s a different world in itself, that defies reality. It’s not a replica of the real but is conceptualised based on the real.

 Gaming teaches us cooperation and if it involves a ‘first person shooting’ in a multi-player game, it helps us concentrate on reflex timings and enhances precision. The level grows on a gamer every single time. Though I started with single-player games, I moved on to multi-player games later.”

Be it a take off from reality into a different world or a space to let out stress and increase co-worker relationship, games which are a melange of technology, art, design and music, along with encryption of the software codes, is now a part of the pop-culture in the City and gaming culture has nourished. 

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