Dear Fellow Gamers, let us be honest, we have been asked whether we could make a career out of gaming or not. There are different factors that influence us to play a particular game. Have you ever wondered what keeps us hooked to an online game or a video game?
Let us say you are an ardent gamer and you want to play an online game. So, how do you end up getting hooked onto it for hours, non-stop? Well, game designers want to awaken your motivation and desire to participate in the activities they design for you as part of the games. They design games in a way that you feel like you are in control while also giving you the feeling that you have mastered and know what exactly to do.
Game designers try to provide you with meaningful options, and chances for growing your skills, and make you look for clearly defined goals. Eventually, you feel like doing more and crossing more milestones or want to score more points. Well, that’s how they design a game to keep you hooked to its design and play. For example: Minecraft is a great representation of such an experience.
Why is Gaming addictive?
Rewards and recognition are part of an adrenaline-pumping activity which is part of the game design psychology. For instance: When you rank up in a game and get the rewards for that or progressing to the next level of the game, the “feel-good” factor makes you want to continue and do better than before.
Game designers try to create a constant sense of progression and accomplishment, so they intentionally use a variety of rewards, including a points system, crossing levels & achievements, and materials that can be accessible after a little grinding. This “feel-good” factor is nothing but a release of dopamine (happy hormone) which keeps you hooked.
Moreover, creating immersive storylines, fascinating experiences and building a clean game-play experience is all part of the gaming ecosystem. Game designers make sure that the overall experience is to create an engaging environment around the game. God of War, Until Dawn, and Call of Duty WWII are some examples of such games.
Interestingly, game designers also take into account a human being’s need for social connection and interaction. And, hence, design games which include social interaction as well as competition. Generally, multiplayer games fall under this category. They are designed to promote teamwork, competition, and most importantly, social connection. They capitalize on the desire for social validation by encouraging social interaction within the game, which lures you in and gets you addicted to the game. Some examples of social games are Counter Strike: Global Offensive(CS:GO), Valorant, and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II.
Career in Gaming a Mainstream thing?
You must be wondering, “Okay, we understood the psychology of a game being made, but can I create a career out of it? Well, let’s explore further.
We all know that the gaming industry is growing rapidly in India and the government recognizes it as a sport which is a good sign. Plus, companies like Electronic Sports League (ESL) have done some tournaments in India and do recognize the potential here. So, now you may be wondering, “Ok, but can it be mainstream?” It is still a wait-and-watch situation. But Girish Menon a Chief Strategy Officer at JetSynthesys says that it “absolutely” can. In the discussion, Menon elaborates on the influence of emerging technologies like 5G and the metaverse on the gaming industry and anticipated technological trends in the gaming industry, among other things.
According to Menon, India has seen a substantial growth in the number of gamers – nearly 400 Million. This may increase to around 600-700 Million by 2026. Given how the trajectory of the industry is progressing, gaming definitely can be a promising career choice, especially for passionate gamers.
The government’s recognition of the industry with the inclusion of medal events in international competitions, further solidifies this path. With an estimated value of $1.5 billion, the gaming industry in India is expected to be worth $5 billion in the coming years.
So, now that we know a little about gaming as a mainstream career option, would it really sustain in the long-term as an industry?
Tax on Online Gaming & Its Impact
So, the Indian Government has proposed a 28% Goods and Services Tax (GST) that could be levied on online gaming. This definitely put the gaming industry in a quandary. Apparently, the idea for levying nearly 30% GST on online gaming is to cut down gambling in the country.
But, experts from the gaming industry argue that the gaming industry could face a decline because of the high tax rate as it would impact on the affordability, consumer behavior and revenue generation.
While the government is looking at the tax levy, what it also needs to take into consideration is that the gaming industry is at a nascent stage in India and such a high tax on it would almost kill the sector. Additionally, it would also stifle the potential revenue generated by gaming.
Is India the only country to propose taxation on Gaming? Let us go a bit further.
Countries like France, UK, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia and Italy impose tax on the Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR) for online games, which is basically netting a percentage of fee for contesting the games. In the US and EU, a flat tax is applied on the revenue earned from online games.
Gaming in India is still growing. That means trials and errors will be needed to check what works and what does not. Will the industry cripple down? The answer for now is no and does not look like it will cripple in the future as well. Will the tax affect it? Yes, for definite reasons, like affordability. But, if encouraged the right way, there is a bright future for the gaming industry to become mainstream.
Can you build a career out of it? Yes, you can. Meanwhile, why not play another match?
(Author: Gaurav Mukherjee is a social media intern at TechDoQuest. His diverse interests keep him engaged and excited about life.)