Game Changers



Games are loved by not only children, but also those who still pamper the
child within themselves! Of course, it plays a pivotal role in the human
development, though there are criticisms that certain types of games breed
violence too.

Whatever be the argument, it is a fact that video games have become part and
parcel of our lives. In the past three decades, games have evolved a lot. Now we
have digital avatars in the virtual world too.

Harsh Jain, a Mumbai based young entrepreneur was highly inspired by the
fantasy football games while he was studying in the US. When he returned back
home, he formed an organization, Dream11 Gaming, with his friends. This
organization claims to be Indias first online fantasy cricket game.

Dream11.com follows the International Cricket Councils cricketing calendar.
It allows users to form their own teams based on the choice of players and their
performance during the international tournaments and tours.

"With this game, any user or cricket fan can pick the best performing players
from various countries and fulfill their zeal of owning a dream team," says
Jain, Dream11s founder chairman and managing director.

Asked why any user would play the game of cricket online, Jain says, "In
India, every cricket fan has his or her views on the game, teams, players, how
the players should play. And they want to share their views, discuss and analyze
the games and players with friends, groups and other people."

"And hence Dream11 offers that unique platform to share, discuss, interact as
well as play cricket games; earn virtual points and rewards," Jain adds.

The game has the social media element of online chats, scraps, emails. Users
can also create cricket communities.

A game based on finance
will help educate users with the general knowledge and understanding in the
area of finance, similarly automobile brand for road safety education

Amit Tripathi, MD, id8labs

In India, every cricket
fan has his or her views on the game, teams, players, how the players should
play

Harsh Jain, Mumbai based entrepreneur

The fantasy cricket game was launched last year at the time of the Indian
Premier League (IPL) and got a fabulous response with over 4.5 lakh registered
users. And, with the upcoming third edition of IPL, Jain expects to increase the
user base and considers India to be a booming market for fantasy and online
games with increase in the Internet growth.

"New features and interactive tools such as blogs, forums and live score
cards will be added to the game," Jain adds. He points out that the fantasy
games should have the right blend of new technologies and visual graphics which
will provide simplicity and great user experience to the users.

While, Amit Tripathi, managing director, id8labs; and founder,
Indiavoting.comwhich had experimented with education based games such as snakes
and ladder, Politicking and other games using politics as a game theme during
2009 electionsis now exploring new business opportunities and growth in the
gaming business.

Presently, the interactive ad agency is in talks with venture capitalists and
investors; and eying $4-5 mn as capital investments of which Rs 10 crore is
earmarked for its edutainment business.

The company will be launching Doozyworld.com, an edutainment gaming channel
that will be available on mobile via value added service (VAS) providers as well
as online. Doozy, a patented character, will be part of the twelve games
collection which is designed on subjects such as the finance sector,
automobiles, and others.

"For instance, a game based on finance will help educate users with the
general knowledge and understanding in the area of finance, similarly automobile
brand for road safety education. Not many people get a chance to develop general
knowledge via leisurely activities. So if you are able to create a platform that
offers education and entertainment, it makes learning more fun and easy,"
Tripathi says.

Though Indiavoting.com portal was pulled back after three months of its
launch, Tripath explains that it was an experiment that provided great
experience and learning in the edutainment business.

"But now we are enhancing and continuing the Indiavoting.com platform for new
games and will be launching a new initiative for Facebook," he adds.

Moreover, Tripathi hopes to add around fifty games in the next three to four
years; and points out that fantasy games like Mafia Wars, Hero World, Castle
Age, Farmville, etc, are attracting users. He also opines that social media will
increase its presence in the next two to three years and will be an alternative
to Google.

Pankaj Maru/CMN
maildqindia@cybermedia.co.in

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