KOCHI: Mohammed Kashif is one of the lucky few whose passion and profession are the same — gaming. “I have been a huge fan of gaming since childhood. When I realised that I could actually game for a living, I was on cloud nine,” he says, as we sit down for a chat. Currently working as a manager at the Arknemesis Gaming Lounge, Chennai, the young gamer is surrounded by games and gamer friends all through the day. Being amid gaming technology and different content innovations, he says, allows for a better learning and understanding of the field.
Kashif believes that practice does make a man perfect. Like many other gamers, he too started off with GTA and Counter Strike. He would practice for hours at a stretch till he perfected his style and technique of playing. “I often played with pros. Initially they defeated me, but as time passed I learnt more form them, and got competitive. It was good training for me,” he smiles.
Like any other field, Kashif explains that even gaming has a lot of set rules, requires practice, and often involves conquering and winning over many armies. “The evolution of gaming is amazing. Earlier we would just play against the computer, but soon that grew into an online gaming platform wherein you have set leader boards to play against, etc.” he explains.
Kashif recalls his earlier gaming days when a bunch of excited gamers used to gather in a small cafe and bet for an amount as small as `10, with sometimes the loser paying the cafe rent. “But today, gaming has advanced to such great levels. For example, The International Dota 2 conducts a tournament of Rs 140 crores and that is huge. If you attend that tournament, you can earn anywhere between Rs 5 crores to Rs 7 crores,” he says.
Ask him about his favourite games that he began playing with and Kashif immediately says, “It definitely is Mario — it is everybody’s favourite. Those cassette games were incredibly fun to play with. I also remember this game called Ghost Recon. It was a strategic shooting game and it involves controlling six different people,” he says. He further adds that the best part of gaming is to be living away from real life and indulging in a different world altogether.
Now that Kashif works full-time in the gaming industry, how does his family feel? Kashif smiles, “Thankfully for me, they were okay with it. I wish and urge other families to give their kids space and freedom to do what they love.”