Friday 26 May 2017 News Updated at 03:05 AM IST
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The game changers - Deccan Herald
The game changers
Anila Kurian, DH News Service,
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Many women in the city are taking to video games and breaking stereotypes.
Growing up, Kriti Subba was fascinated by watching her cousin brother play the video game 'Super Mario’. Little did she know that she will soon become an avid video gamer herself. The quality analyst started playing Nintendo, eventually moved to PC gaming and when Xbox came to India, she ventured into that world as well.

Today, she is one of the few women video gamers in the city. Entering the world of virtual reality and killing the bad guys is something many boys have grown up doing. But while even grown men continue their interest in video games, not many can accept that women can also be gamers. However, there are some female players who are making the heads turn with their control skills.

Says Kriti, "Most men are surprised when I tell them I enjoy playing video games. The most commonly asked question is 'how can a girl be a gamer’. I just respond by saying that gamers don’t have a gender. However, when you are playing online, it is only your skill that is in focus. I still see few people making fun of female gamers but that doesn’t bother me anymore.” For many, video games are an escape from reality to the realm of serenity. Shweta Patil, a professional, enjoys playing real-time strategy games. She says, "When I was studying in college, I would spend most of my time in front of the computer with my headphones on, hitting the control keys. As the game cannot be stopped in between, I would often play for more than six hours with strangers.”

"Many found it hard to believe that it was a girl playing with them; they thought I was bluffing. They think that battling and planning strategies are something women just cannot do. It’s very annoying, but you know what? No matter what your gender is, gaming gives you a rush that you cannot explain. It’s almost like being in love. You get the jittery feeling and become nervous when a certain someone approaches you- it really is hard to express the feeling in words,” she exclaims.

There is a need to change existing notions in this field as many think that video games are meant for men. Dharini Dilip Kumar, an online content developer says, "The only way to break the stereotype is by getting more women to start playing and get better at it. Men get competitive but so do women. It becomes a battle of the sexes but that seems to be the only way to prove your point.”