Jignesh Panchal, Software testing engineer at http://www.games2win.com talks to Disha Deshpande about how games just go viral within hours of its release.
Gaming has gone from being an engaging form of entertainment to a mindless routine. Children would sit in front of their television sets to play cassette video games with joysticks, yelling at their team mates to move faster or dodge a bullet. Some of the oldest games that come to my mind would Street Fighter, a TV video game which needed players to choose characters and fight in dark alleyways, Mario, a short mexican plumber who jumped over obstacles and dodged anything that came to hurt him, and Dave. Then came the era of computers and with them came the super addictive computer games like Doom (with various software versions and updates) and Road Rash which had a faceless biker racing others through difficult terrains while using police rods and chains and kicks to distract and hurt other riders. And then there was no end. Mothers had given up nagging their kids to study and fathers stopped telling them to go down and play with friends. And with the coming of multi player games, and then them becoming ‘multi player online games”, kids no longer had to lie about playing with their friends!
Gaming went to a whole new level with online gaming. But Android and iPhone apps took the cake! People would play games on their phones at work, even during board meetings! It no longer was something that children enjoy, grown adults are now seen playing Temple Run, Fruit Ninja, Ninja Jump, and even something as mundane as Paper Toss, which involves throwing a crushed paper ball into a waste bin!
Speaking to Jignesh Panchal, a rising software tester at Games2win brings to light a lot of what the industry feeds on and thrives from.
“Games used to be fun,” says the Counter Strike addict, “they required the gamer to be strategic and apply his mind to work his way around obstacles to get to the final destination. They used to be extremely gripping and in some way or the other, utilized mental faculties, thus sharpening the mind. This was till they made a transition from recreational to addictive,”. His firm releases a minimum of 2-3 games every friday. Friday night, being release night, is an all-nighter, where the game goes back and forth between the developer and the tester till it is devoid of bugs in all possible circumstances. And once the tester is sure that the game will not crash, it gets released on the website and on all application providers such as Google Play.
Being new to the industry, he seems disappointed at some level with the kind of games people choose. “I have tested some amazing games with brilliant graphics, stimulating too. These are games which I play on my phone from time to time. Sadly, these are not the ones that become popular. The ones that hit 100,000+ downloads are mind numbing mechanical games. The one that got me recognition was Parking Frenzy. It crossed 5 Million downloads and Games2win had to come up with upgrades every fortnight, not to mention additional levels, paid versions, and better graphics. It is not an easy game, but its just parking the car in the spot that is highlighted!” says Jignesh.
Online games are of types. Flash Games, which are on free online gaming sites, and the Android or IOS games which are applications for the phones and tablets working on either of the two operating systems. There are games under the categories of girls, boys, “naughty” games, arcade, strategy, sports, virtue world etc. These can be played for hours and hours. The games on Facebook such as Texas HoldEm Poker, Farmville, Sorority House and others are equally addictive.
With the Naughty category becoming a rage, online gaming has taken kinky to another level altogether. They are probably animated porm, except here, the player gets a kick out of the girl revealing some part of her body because of something he does. The virtual world, Second Life, is a place where people have animated characters who, for some strange reason, are horny all the time. Some people meet others from different countries and interact, while others just ask each other “Wanna Fuck?” and get busy in a room.
As a result, people play games at work, which has compelled their employers to enable firewall. Students these days throw tantrums for devices such as androids and play stations. There kids in different parts of the world competing online while still sitting in school! While parents believe that computer games are making their children dimmer by the second, studies show that strategy based games are good for them, that is, if they play them.
Jignesh believes that technology, in a way, has helped increase the addiction. ” No. I am not only talking about the Play Stations, Nintendo Wii, X-Box etc. Even something as simple as a trackpad on a laptop, or a touch screen phone, makes the entire playing experience an easy and effortless one. That is probably another resin why the gaming industry is booming.”
Essentially, online games give the player a chance to escape into a virtual world where he or she lives the game. Sometimes it is a good break, but mostly, it just ends up detaching the person from reality.