Come, let?s play a game | india | Hindustan Times
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Come, let?s play a game

Mayank Sharma, 16, still does not own a PC at home. He never bothered about purchasing one. Ever since cyber cafes started offering truly world class online and offline gaming experience, Mayank had been allowed by his parents to play online games for an hour thrice every week. ?It?s not enough as studies are more important right now. However, gaming provides me the benefit to concentrate on an activity which had also improved my reflexes in terms of being more vigilant of my real surroundings?believe it or not?, he says..

india Updated: Jun 02, 2006 00:01 IST

Online gaming is on. The word is — quicken your reflexes and get back to studies! The option the youngsters relish like a full brick of ice cream after a hot-hot discussion.

Mayank Sharma, 16, still does not own a PC at home. He never bothered about purchasing one. Ever since cyber cafes started offering truly world class online and offline gaming experience, Mayank had been allowed by his parents to play online games for an hour thrice every week. “It’s not enough as studies are more important right now. However, gaming provides me the benefit to concentrate on an activity which  had also improved my reflexes  in terms of being more vigilant of my real surroundings—believe it or not”, he says..

Like Mayank, there is a whole army of gaming enthusiasts in the city right from Standard V girl in the neighbourhood to the college-going tech-savvy biker who have gone out and won wars, shot down enemy planes and involved themselves in anti-terrorist operations in that vast virtual space round almost every day round the year. So how’s the online and offline gaming scenario in Lucknow?

If one takes a count of nearly 400 cyber cafes in the city, almost all of them offer a gaming experience to the surfers at a price. Some of the cybercafes are in dilapidated pigeonholes. But, others are more exclusive ones which have the technology to make the gaming experience a delight for all age groups.

In the organised sector, the gaming experience is more about the class and feel of being in a cybercafe. If you look around, you would have avid gamers not wanting to be disturbed even for a cursory Hi from  partner in the next cubicle.

Right now two major players in the gaming space are catering to a growing market of online and offline gamers mainly Reliance Webworld and Sify Ltd in Lucknow.

Reliance Communications has four Web Worlds in Lucknow with the average age of gamers from 14 to 21 years. The multi-player online gaming is very popular among the youth coming to the Web Worlds with a minimum playtime usage of four hours among players daily. The company holds regular gaming tournaments both at the regional and national level at its Webworld and awards prizes to the winners, a company official told HT WE. Mradul Singh, 18, spends at least an hour in the evening on weekdays and two hours on Sundays on a virtual racing track at the Reliance Web World at the Tulsi Theatre complex in the city. “I advise all my gaming partners to gather at the same time at the Reliance Web World so that multi-player games could be tried out”.

“We have a total of three “iWay Game Dromes” in Lucknow which also rolls into a Cybercafe. The Online or offline Gaming provides a platform for both kids and the grown-ups to build a community of  friends who are also their Gaming partners”, says Gaurav Sharma, Unit Head, Sify Ltd, Lucknow.

Currently, some of the popular list of games available at iWay Game Dromes and also its conventional cybercafes are UT, Counter Strike, Strategy Games, Age of  Vampire and Need for Speed Underground and now the new entrant A3.  The gaming market in UP in terms of revenue growth for Sify is at the rate of 40 to 45 per cent Quarter-on-Quarter, he said.