About 30,000 video gaming enthusiasts from the city have their weekend plans sorted. As IGX (Indian Games Expo) returns to the city with its second edition, gamers and non-gamers can learn more about the latest in cutting-edge PC games as well as the latest technology in gaming — virtual reality.
“Till last year, there were no consumer-centric gaming events. There were either gaming tournaments or games showcases and events catered for its makers, where few people participated,” says Sameer Desai, organiser of IGX. In short, the average gamer had no way to experience the latest technology without having to ship expensive devices and CDs from abroad.
But with a mobile technology boom (especially in India), a new generation of gamers is emerging. It makes it an ideal market to introduce new hardware and launch video games (on a par with global releases). However, despite the technological progress, gaming in India is not as popular as it is abroad. “A lot of people who come to IGX are simply fascinated by gaming. We expect a lot of first-timers to come in. During last year’s expo, a large crowd just stood staring at the big screen that was playing reels of popular games,” adds Desai.
At IGX, serious gamers can participate in competitive tournaments for the newest video games such as FIFA 17 (released in September), WWE 2K17 (released on October 11) and PES (Pro Evolution Soccer) 2017 (rival to FIFA).
Another big draw is Sony’s PlayStation VR (virtual reality) headset, which works with the PS4 console. “This is the first time people in India will get to experience it,” says Desai. According to gamer and game developer Vijay Sinha, virtual reality is the next big thing in the gaming world. “Though Sony’s PlayStation VR has released elsewhere in the world, it might be a long wait before it reaches our shores,” he says.
Playing a role
While cosplay has been a big part of events such as Comic Cons across the globe, this will be a first for Indian audiences to experience gaming cosplay. Participants can come dressed as their favourite video game avatar. Last year, Rhea Chowdhury attended the expo dressed as Lara Croft, and bagged the second prize in the cosplay competition.
“This year, I plan to cosplay as Weiss from the RWBY series,” says the social media executive. “It is great to be surrounded by people who love games as much as you do,” she adds.
Be there: IGX will be held on October 15 and 16
At: World Trade Centre, Cuffe Parade
Entry: Free (at venue and online at www.gamesexpo.in)