When the gamers bloomed – Mumbai Mirror

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The lockdown has seen a surge in millenials playing online games as a way to stay grounded as well as connected to others

As the lockdown begins to ease around cities and businesses start opening up, Shiv Salian has had to cut back on his gaming time, and the friends he has made over the last few months are beginning to notice. “The other day, a friend in Saudi Arabia, whom I met while playing Grand Theft Auto Online, messaged to ask why I wasn’t online as much lately,” says the 26-year-old interior designer, referring to the online component of Rockstar Games’ popular 2013 release, Grand Theft Auto 5. “Since the lockdown began, I have made friends from around the world — Saudi Arabia, Australia, the UK. We were all in the same situation, thanks to the lockdown. And these friendships have gone beyond the game too.”

Boom time

Gaming is one of the few industries to have thrived during the COVID-19 pandemic. As hundreds of millions of people around the world find themselves confined to their homes, more and more of them are turning to games — whether on mobile, PC or home consoles — for entertainment. “The lockdown acted as a catalyst to change a lot of mindsets about gaming. More people have now opened up to it, and that is reflecting in the demand for games and consoles,” says Prosenjit Ghosh, national head of the PlayStation Division at Sony India. “Many fence-sitters have now jumped into gaming.”

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