Shown as a hub of mafia dons and a battle zone of terror, the city of Mumbai is a popular character in the world of online games. But, for the next few days, games based on the city will not be on air. Following the serial blasts in Mumbai on Wednesday, gaming companies have withdrawn some of these games for a while.
The game Mumbai Underworld (MU) has been withdrawn for a week and the homepage now has a condolence message for the victims. “We’ve removed the game temporarily to show our respect for the families of the victims. In this hour, we want to be with the nation in mourning,” says Rahul Razdan, CEO of ibibo.com, the makers of the game. The game was pulled off just hours after the blasts and Razdan says that once it is back up, some proceeds from it will go towards the victims.
Games2win.com is also working on a similar plan. They have games such as Kill Osama, which allow people to hunt down these terrorists. “Kill Osama and some other games will go off air, since terror plays a big role in them,” says Rajagopal Menon, Director, Games2win.com. Menon, however, says they are undecided about the game Kill Kasab, which has seen an increase in hits ever since the blasts.
Psychiatrists say withdrawing the games for some time is a great idea. “This is a good initiative, it will make youngsters empathetic and sensitive towards the crisis that the nation is facing. Youngsters from the age of 13 to 18 play these games and they are impressionable and such games may encourage them to opt for violence,” says Dr Deepak Raheja, director Hope Foundation.
However, fans don’t mind missing out on the games for some time either. “Usually gaming companies don’t care about such things, but this is a great initiative on their part,” says 19-year-old Vipul Abrol. “I’m a fan of MU and it’s a great idea to keep such games away till people come to terms with the tragedy,” says Pulkit Kumar, 14.