Radhika Seth would often scold her 10-year-old daughter Arpita for playing online games. But now, thanks to the reruns of television soaps on air, she has become her daughter’s new gaming partner.
“Multiplayer games are so addictive that I don’t miss the soaps that much,” said the 35-year-old Andheri, Mumbai resident. Seth has been a regular viewer of Balika Vadhu, on Colors, and Desperate Housewives.
Seth is not the only one happy to abandon the remote control. Manisha Mittal (29), a homemaker and the mother of a six-year-old boy, discovered that gaming is a good way to spend time with kids. “It’s a great way to mingle with your child. You don’t want them to watch all the serials,” she said. “Also, online games are not time-bound. I don’t need to finish cooking dinner in a hurry anymore.”
Zapakgirls.com, a gaming portal dedicated to women, has witnessed a surge in visitors. Before the re-runs went on air, the portal recorded 7.5 lakh viewers a week. Last week, the figure shot up to 15 lakh.
Rohit Sharma, COO, Zapak Digital Entertainment Ltd, said: “The strike by television workers has opened a window of opportunities for us.”
Gaming companies say the rise in the number of women gamers is also due to the global gaming phenomenon. “Women, largely homemakers, comprise a little less than 20 per cent of our clientele,” said Vishal Gondal, founder, Indiagames.com. "Women are gaming not just because soaps are off air. They’ve been potential gamers globally.”