VMLS is mentored by OP Jindal Global University (an Institution of Eminence) and Jindal Global Law School under an institutional mentorship agreement.

VMLS is mentored by OP Jindal Global University (an Institution of Eminence) and Jindal Global Law School under an institutional mentorship agreement.

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Understanding Profiles and Perspectives of Online Skill - Based Gamers in India.

Understanding Profiles and Perspectives of Online Skill – Based Gamers in India.

A first-of-its-kind study on Skill-based Online Gaming in India by Vinayaka Mission’s Law School (VMLS) in collaboration with Esports Players Welfare Association (EPWA).

The Centre for Justice Through Technology (CJT), led by Ms. Suhasini Rao, Associate Professor and Assistant Dean at VMLS, and EPWA, are proud to announce the release of their research report titled “Understanding Profiles and Perspectives of Online Skill- Based Gamers in India.” This ground breaking study offers unprecedented insights into the legal landscape, challenges, and opportunities faced by esports players and online gamers in the country.

Led by Mr. Nishant Sheokand, Associate Professor at VMLS and a Gaming Lawyer, this one- of-a-kind research provides a comprehensive examination of the rapidly growing online gaming and esports industry. With the substantial rise in the user base and market capitalization of the global gaming sector, particularly during the pandemic, online gaming has emerged as a vital source of sustenance for individuals, with India becoming a key market. However, the absence of consolidated legislation has led to conflicting judgments by various courts, creating ambiguity surrounding the legal status of esports, online gaming, and the rights of players and gamers as a whole. This report aims to address these challenges by examining the current regulatory regimes and presenting a deeper understanding of the rights, obligations, and protections for esports players, online gamers, and industry stakeholders.

The study reveals a significant shift towards professional gaming as a primary or secondary source of income. A remarkable 83% of respondents consider gaming a viable income stream, with 39% considering it their primary source of income, and 44% viewing it as a secondary source. These insights highlight the evolving trend of gaming as a career choice, surpassing its traditional perception as mere entertainment.

The research also provides valuable insights into the gaming preferences of Indians, with puzzle games, board games, and adventure sports ranking as the top choices across different demographics and engagement levels. While AAA games remain popular among younger gamers, seasoned players gravitate towards poker, rummy, carrom, and puzzles.

Delving deeper into the attitudes and preferences of gamers in India, the study covers essential aspects such as required skills, family and social support, professional gaming, and the impact of regulations. In-depth interviews were conducted with casual and professional gamers, including those involved in online fantasy sports and esports, to gather comprehensive data from various parts of the country.

Contrary to common stereotypes associated with gaming, the study highlights the dedication and commitment exhibited by online gamers, with individuals dedicating 10-20 hours per week to actively engage in gaming. Success in the online gaming world necessitates essential skills such as analytical skills (97%), concentration (87%), and creativity (69%).

Understanding Profiles and Perspectives of Online Skill - Based Gamers in India.

However, the study also reveals the challenges faced by gamers due to high taxes imposed through GST & TDS, the criminalization of players by certain state governments, and the absence of uniform regulations across different states. The lack of clarity regarding games of skill and games of chance has led to misconceptions and social stigma, impacting the support from families and communities.

The research report concludes with a call for a supportive and well-defined regulatory framework that safeguards user rights and promotes responsible gaming. By understanding the perspectives of gamers, CJT and EPWA aim to shape effective legislation that fosters a transparent, thriving, and socially responsible gaming ecosystem in India.

To access the full research report, please visit https://vmls.edu.in/wp- content/uploads/2023/05/CJT-EPWA-31-5-23.pdf

For any enquiries, contact Mr. Nishant at nishant@vmls.edu.in

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