All right. It all started when i ordered a new mouse for myself. $80. By now i am almost used to paying crazy high prices for gaming hardware. Then a old school mumbo jumbo economic rule popped in my head: there are not enough users to buy these products, and thats why they are so expensive. Which brings in another question: why are there not enough users? Turns out that we itself are somewhat responsible for it. We, the indian gaming community, are responsible for the fact that our community is not big enough. Nuts.

Why? Because we are in a way blocking new gamers to come onboard. How? Our ego. Our vanity. We love to taunt over noobs when we own them. And games now are complex enough for total newbies to take a lot of time and practice to be able to play smoothly, leave alone master it. People like us who got the blessing of games in our lives from an early stage got great at playing it. So great that complex control schemes like a keyboard + mouse combo for fps games, or fps on consoles that require one analog stick to look and other to move feel totally natural to us. This leaves the newbies light years behind. Don’t believe me? Try teaching your mother to play a fps. You will get the idea. I tried, and failed miserably. Another example, I went to croma, a big electronics store which had a xbox 360 running Halo 3 for people to try out. The booth was a success. Success in terms of gathering people around it. People of all age classes. I was kinda happy to look at it. Happy that games were picking up among people. But when I looked at the screen, all my happiness vanished. Master Chief was looking at the ground and used to stick to every wall or turn for a good 10 seconds. I asked a few people who played the game, and they all told more or less the same thing: the game looked beautiful, but it was way too complex for them. Then I picked up the controller and played the game for a few minutes, and boy, people looked at me like I was some sort of alien being among them. Gibberish.

Getting more gamers onboard is important for a number of reasons. Cheaper hardware being at the top of the list. More gamers means more games being made as well. More gamers means more competition so that we also can have an annual 5 day gaming tournament. Many more reasons. But how do we get more gamers? More marketing, or making simpler games. These are something we can’t do much about, because these depend upon the developers and publishers. What we can do is introduce people to gaming. Tell them about how awesomely supersensational the games are. Introduce them to a simple game. Don’t expect them to take headshots any time soon. And if you are playing with them, losing a few times to them is not a bad idea either. Just a few times. Let them feel the emotion of owning a nemesis. Let them feel the joy that brings a gamer back and back again to a game. They will tell others about it. I am teaching my 13 year old kid neighbor how to play unreal and a few other games, and apart from the fact that his parents think that I might be spoiling him, everything seems fine.

Here is a call to all you people who gave their precious time reading this mumbo jumbo: you don’t need to be a prophet of gaming, but just introduce one person to gaming. Thats it. Hope it makes my next mouse purchase a bit cheaper. Cheers!

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