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Pedal power
Sneha Mahale, Hindustan Times
October 17, 2012
First Published: 16:51 IST(17/10/2012)
Last Updated: 16:54 IST(17/10/2012)
Cycling

With 37 days to go for Tour de India to officially kick off, an online game is promoting the sport on the digital platform. Aping the real race that takes riders to three cities — Mumbai, Delhi and Srinagar, it hopes to create awareness about cycling and get people to register for the actual event.



“Cycling may not be a popular sport in India. However, events like the Tour de India will help create awareness about the sport by increasing spectator involvement. The game will give the user a feel of what it is to participate in an event of such magnitude by putting him or her on the virtual cycling seat,” says Manish Kumar, head content marketing, Hungama Digital.

The actual event will be held across three cities — Mumbai, Delhi NCR and Srinagar. So, as a part of the virtual game, a rider races across these three locations as well. Cyclists also pass by important monuments like the Bandra Worli Sea Link in Mumbai, the Buddh International Circuit in Delhi NCR and around the Dal Lake in Srinagar. “The game is played in the most simplified format. The user merely plays the game and pits themselves against other users with scores,” says Kumar.

As part of the gameplay, the user collects boosters on the track. It helps up the player’s energy levels to race ahead of his opponents. Motivational quotes by successful people pop up on the screen to keep the user’s morale high. Winners earn points and appear on the leader board. Virtual cyclists can play fictional characters in the game. Options include Caddie Evans, Mickey Cavendish and Sachin Armstrong. But with the current controversy involving Lance Armstrong, does it make sense to feature him in the line-up? “The characters used in the game are completely fictional; it is not our intention to create any controversies,” says Kumar.
 
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