Online gaming industry can give a big boost to the domestic technology sector and tech talent, felt the experts during a panel discussion here, adding that online gaming provides a good and new opportunity to ensure healthy development of society.
In the wake of rising tussle between the fast growing Indian online gaming industry and regulators, Think Change Forum, an independent think tank, has released a set of recommendations on ‘How to Make India a Global Gaming Innovation Hub.’
To supplement its research and analysis, Think Change Forum organised a panel discussion on the topic which brought together experts such as Arjun Sinha, Founding Partner of A & P Partners, who represented the legal point of view; Faisal Kawoosa, Chief Analyst, TechArc, who represented the technology point of view, Dr RK Suri, renowned clinical psychologist, a TEDx speaker and mentor of TalktoAngel and Dr Jayanti Dutta, renowned clinical psychologist.
An important recommendation that emerged from the discussion suggests that business momentum in the global IT sector is slowing down and hence the emerging gaming industry can offer a new window of global opportunity for Indian tech talent.
Legally, games of skill cannot be prohibited. Rather, regulators should provide them protection, without discriminating between offline and online formats, felt experts.
The experts argued that the introduction of preventive algorithms in online games should be the main focus of regulatory intervention instead of treating them as sin activities, for healthy growth of the sector.
According to them, regulators should restrain from stretched arguments like one being given by the Government of Tamil Nadu which believes that rummy when played offline is a game of skill but when played online becomes a game of chance. Focus should be on providing both an even playing ground, they said.
Online games with real money are very similar to stock market investments and should be seen thus. For the skilled, these are a winner while for the unskilled it is about taking chances. Prohibition or significant restrictions on online games will make them go underground, and open floodgates for offshore players to capture the Indian market, they averred.
Experts were of the view that any society has the people who are dealing with mental health challenges and their behaviour has no correlation to playing online games. The state should recognize mental health as a serious challenge and provide solutions like counselling and treatments, they said.
However, they were of the unanimous view that industry should demonstrate maturity and responsibility in working with a clear focus on keeping online games clean and free from any technological manipulation.