Social Impact of Gaming in India

By: Divya Mc Millin  

What is the social impact of gaming in developing economies such as India? This paper seeks to address this question through the case study of the League of Extraordinary Gamers in Bengaluru, India through four phases of fieldwork spanning 2013-17. The theoretical concept of Thirdspace allows us to explore more fully, the process by which young media users in India leverage their connectivities and technology options to produce a “place” they can habit meaningfully and powerfully. The first phase of fieldwork in 2013 in Bengaluru, one of the first cities to be digitized, revealed significant upheavals in the city with the installation of fiber optic cables throughout. It was that summer that LXG was established, necessitating fieldwork in summer 2015 when the gaming industry achieved a dramatic spike. Analysis of LXG campaign strategies and marketing materials, as well as interviews continued in early 2016, both with shoutcasters and marketers in Bangalore as well as developers in Seattle and Bellevue, Washington, where the most popular games are developed. The final phase of fieldwork was conducted in summer 2017, where visits to four private universities in the city and interviews and participant observation at LXG, filled in the gaps on media preferences and gaming habits. Thinking through gaming centers and streaming programming as Thirdspace advances our understanding of how new technologies can engender notions of global citizenship and local agency.

Gaming, Smart Cities
Technologies in Society
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Divya Mc Millin

Professor and Executive Director, School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, University of Washington Tacoma, United States
Washington, United States