The year 2020 has been an exciting year for the Indian online gaming market. The online gaming industry in India has evolved and witnessed a major uptick this year because of the ‘Digital India’ initiative by the Government of India which promotes internet access to citizens at affordable rates. Moreover, in the first half of the year, the number of games played and hours spent online has grown phenomenally. Online gaming has not seen an adverse impact since players participate digitally and play remotely across devices, unlike physical gaming. This has led to the robust growth of 10-12% increase in user engagement in India.
The increasing ability to enjoy multi player online gaming from the safety and privacy of one’s own home has become a way to socially isolate while still engaging in this form of entertainment. However, while these options provide additional means of mitigating the transmission of Covid-19, isolation, it may pose a risk factor for developing a gaming disorder in some rare cases.
Responsible gaming in India is essential that every gaming enthusiast should follow. As with any sport or gaming activity, it is important to stay safe and to play with control. Most gamers should keep our gameplay to a level that fits our life, economy, physical health, and social demands.
Irrespective of one’s experience or expertise in the game, a player can never go wrong by playing responsibly, but some find themselves lost in their gaming. Operators of online transactional gaming sites as well as brick-and-mortar operators who offer the ability to play online should be aware of the various responsible gaming practices and look for innovative ways to enhance this messaging to their players in particular.
It is the collective responsibility of the players and the gaming platform to make responsible gaming an inclusive part of the online gaming industry. The gaming operators can try to help gamers improve control over their own behavior by uniting good game design with efficient gaming policies and guidance. It includes a range of measures designed to ensure that it doesn’t cause any negative effects on player’s personal life or finances.
In 2018, AIGF skill games charter was released. The charter focuses entirely on player protection, responsible gaming including guidelines for advertising. Through the adoption of principles and the disciplinary process, it seeks to build a self-regulatory community and facilitative ecosystem for the offer of online transactional games of skill in a transparent and fair manner, with due regard for consumer and stakeholder interests.
Due to WFH policies, there has been a significant increase in the use of gaming platforms in India, the AIGF felt the need to strengthen the existing advisory board to emphasize on player protection & responsible gaming and offer expert guidance to the industry, AIGF onboarded eminent Justice Vikramajit Sen, a former Judge of the Supreme Court& Ex-Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court, Ms. Fatema Agarkar, leading educationist & Founder of the Agarkar Centre of Excellence (ACE)combing sports and education, and Ms. Jhulan Goswami, Indian International Cricketer and the former captain of the Indian National women’s cricket team.
About the author: Mr. Roland Landers – CEO, All India Gaming Federation