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Govt Panel Pushes Games On Indian Epics | Latest news India

A government task force has recommended that online and video games be developed using Indian epics like Mahabharata and Ramayana, and iconic Indian films like Sholay and Bahubali as plot inspiration, according to documents seen by HT.

The recommendation has been made by a sub-task force formed by the Union ministry of information and broadcasting to explore ways in which the animation, visual effects, gaming and comic (AVGC) sector of the india

Headed by joint secretary of the I&B ministry, Vikram Sahay, it suggests that “applied games can be included in the school curriculum and financial incentives can be provided for companies developing educational games.”

“A survey of applied game applications in various sectors can be conducted and avenues for international demand for applied games can also be explored,” he adds.

The ministry has launched a series of online games called Azadi Quest as part of its Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav campaign to commemorate 75 years of India’s independence. This includes a series of online educational mobile games developed in collaboration with Zynga India, which aims to capture India’s freedom struggle.

The government is also working on parallel legislation to regulate the online gaming sector, which may require a new central law to standardize the approach towards these aggregators in the future.

The task force’s plan aims to unlock the potential of the “stories of Indian literature,” which, he adds, can be done by also looking at the Vedas and the Upanishads. “Life Stories of Buddha and Mahavira; Epics of Sangam literature like Silappadikaram, Manimekalai; writings of the great Kalidasa like Kumārasambhava, Abhijnanashakuntalam; and many more. Epics like Ramayana and Mahabharata have already been hugely successful as TV shows. Games based on these epics have the potential to transform India into a hub for MMORPGs (online video role-playing games) which have been hugely successful in the international market,” states the report presented in July.

To do this, the culture ministry can be roped in to ensure that “authentic and digital resources of Indian literature” are used.

“A similar approach can also be taken with respect to historical and folklore-based narratives. A gentle approach can be taken with respect to cultural sensitivities of content involving religious figures, historical figures, etc.

An annual Gaming Expo is also part of the ministry’s plans. “Indian delegations can participate in various global gaming events. Gaming Startup Fests can be organized to showcase innovation and provide a collaborative platform for gaming startups,” the report states.

It also recommends engagement with the film and entertainment industry by sharing “information, intellectual property, creating games for iconic films and attracting global game studios to leverage Indian stories” .

“A movie, web series or similar entertainment content is essentially a story with multiple characters, situations and challenges. Hit movies can be transformed into games through a dedicated mechanism of cooperation between the entertainment and gaming industry. Examples may include strategy games based on popular movies like Sholay, Bahubali,” the report said.

To develop these games, the ministry recommends that a group of mentors be established through industry associations to work with the I&B ministry and the media and entertainment skills council to incentivize professionals and companies in the game to guide young talent.

This will include identifying global gaming mentors and using the expertise of the ministry’s various schemes for skill development and entrepreneurship. “The list of mentors, along with their brief profiles, can be made available on a dedicated website. The mentors can be categorized based on learners, i.e. school and college students, young professionals working in industry and business founders,” the report added.

Regarding mentoring in schools, the task force proposed using the Atal Tinkering Labs network and encouraging after-school mentoring programs by game companies.

“Mentoring at the college/university level can be carried out through the introduction of degree programs in proposed and existing educational institutions; diploma courses in games through open learning; integration of gaming curriculum within computer engineering and related courses; MoUs between industry and educational institutions for mentorship and internship programs; MoUs between acclaimed Indian and foreign institutions for exchange programs and mentoring by foreign academics and foreign industry professionals; and curation of knowledge banks for conducting Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs),” he adds.

It has also suggested engagement between global technology vendors and Indian gaming industry associations; and access to technology from international gaming companies can be encouraged in exchange for patents.

“Government, in collaboration with industry, can develop an open source stack for game development. Technology sharing can be encouraged by establishing game startup hubs and technology sharing platforms” , the report states.


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