BENGALURU: A s soon as my baby fingers could grasp a joystick, I started to play,” says 19-year-old Arul Raj who started gaming when he was three years old. “The first game I remember playing was Aladdin on PS1, which my dad bought as he thought it was a good ‘exercise’ to develop my hand and eye co-ordination.”
Arul is not a professional gamer as he thinks it takes dedication and hard work to be one. He spends at least two to four hours during weekdays playing on his console and spends most of his time gaming during holidays.
“Video games are fun and they help us relax, so I see it as an investment on fun —more like an escape from reality. But playing them to an extent where it affects our education, and relationship with friends and family is not worth it,” he says.
Arul has played God of War on PS4 for 12 hours at a stretch, and that is the longest he has played for. He participated in a FIFA competition almost a year back which was held at Ram Gaming Centre in Chennai. He came in second.
As a kid, there have been times when he pretended to be sick, so that he could sit at home and play video games. “When I was young, my dad used to give me money to buy PS2 video games, but nowadays I need to save on my own to buy PS4 games as they happen to be expensive,” he adds.
Arul likes to play games which have a good narrative as he likes getting transported to another world. “I
like immersive videos games which have good narratives like God Of War (PS4); games that can be replayed like GTA online and also games which you could binge play with friends like FIFA. I think games are a fantasy where we get to do things that we can’t do in real life. Playing a compelling story where we get to feel connected and be invested in those characters is something that I can’t describe,” he says.
The best game he has played till date is Uncharted 2: Among Thieves as he feels it has a great story, interesting game play mechanics and amazing character design.
Gaming has taught Arul tactical thinking; FIFA has taught him to play football and how to survive a zombie apocalypse. He has become more patient, started paying attention to details and he also met like-minded people. He has strong relationships among the gaming community.
As he loves living in an alternate reality, we ask him which game-set would he choose to live in. “I have always wanted to live in the world of ‘The elder Scrolls (Nirn)’ or ‘Witcher 3’, as I find them fascinating. Being there would be a breath of fresh air,” he says.
While he has got his hands on most games in the market, Arul is looking forward to playing Ghost of Tsushima, Last of 2, Shenmue 3 and Death Stranding in Future.