Cultural Influences: How Local Traditions Impact Gaming Preferences

Cultural Influences: How Local Traditions Impact Gaming Preferences

For real-money games platforms, the commercial viability of a game on the online platform is crucial.

For real-money games platforms, the commercial viability of a game on the online platform is crucial. The likelihood of commercial success depends on a variety of factors. The user experience, the design brilliance, and, in some cases, also the familiarity of the game among the gaming community.

We have seen games like CandyCrush and Minecraft gain popularity of an almost viral nature without having any cultural precedence in India or globally. However, card games, ludo and fantasy sports are part of the country’s cultural fabric. Incidentally, poker, rummy game, and fantasy sports are the three most popular real-money gaming categories in India. Games that are a part of the local traditions have a clear head start in the digital space.

Cultural Precedence in Gaming

A game popular in the offline environment may not have the same appeal in the online format. For instance, cricket is immensely popular in India. But in the online platform, most popular fantasy cricket games are about selecting a cricket team. The same goes for fantasy football as well. On the other hand, card games like rummy and poker are replicated as-is from the offline to the online format. However, in all of these cases, we must note that all of these games have a cultural legacy in Indian society.

The popularity of fantasy cricket and fantasy football rests on the century-old popularity of the physical games. Rummy games have always been popular in Indian society before real-money gaming came into existence. Even poker, the North American favourite, was introduced to Indian society at least a few decades ago.

Different Layers of Cultural Fabric

We have highlighted playing card games and outfield sports like cricket and football as examples of local traditions influencing gaming preferences. However, local traditions and cultures can mold gaming preferences in a variety of ways. This cultural impact on gaming can be seen in real-money gaming as well as in casual games.

Apart from the digital adaptation of popular indoor and outdoor games, gaming themes based on Indian folklore and mythology can also have an instant appeal within the gaming community. In the Western world, you will notice characters in games that are based on goblins, orcs and trolls. These are all, of course, parts of Western folk traditions. Similarly, in India, you will find games based on mythological characters like Bheem and Krishna and games filled with Indian social references.

Lumikai and Amazon Web Services conducted a study in which they noted that 82% of Indian gamers are keen to play games based on Indian mythology, and 40% of non-gamers would consider gaming if it is based on Indian contexts and themes. The onus is now, perhaps, on the gaming companies to come up with more game ideas that appeal to Indian gamers from a cultural standpoint. As far as successful digital adoption is concerned, there is no better example in India than rummy games.

Examining Rummy: From Culture to Gaming

Cricketing and footballing traditions were improvised to make them adaptable for gaming. Folk culture and mythology are being used as thematic reference points to develop locally relevant games. However, when it comes to card games, the adaptation is much more direct. There are no improvisations or thematic references required. Due to the popularity of card games in Indian society, their digital translation has also translated into instant success.

Perhaps the reason why rummy apps are the overwhelming favourite in the Indian real-money gaming scene is tradition itself. It is generally assumed that rummy arrived in India in the early 20th century and has been growing in popularity ever since. Rummy games are played across India by people of all age groups. Being a skill and strategy-based game, success in it commands awe and respect. Card playing also has a festive connection, which has made rummy games acceptable and familiar across all sections of society.

This cultural familiarity and acceptance has made rummy apps one of the most popular places for the Indian gaming community to be. Rummy app RummyCulture can vouch for this, having hosted a record number of rummy game participants on its platform. The Guinness World Record for the highest number of rummy game enthusiasts attending a single tournament currently belongs to the popular rummy app.

Following Local Traditions

It can be surmised that a sense of familiarity is helpful for a game to become popular among the online gaming communities. This familiarity often arises from the presence of the game in local traditions in some form. A gamer can relate to such games either due to their cultural references or having come across them in the offline environment. In real-money gaming, gamers are more comfortable playing a game with which they can relate to in some form. This is why the offline popularity of rummy games or the familiarity aspect of culture-themed games has converted into unabated success on the digital front.

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