Title: THE DYNAMICS OF MALAYALI MASS GAMING IN THE CARNIVALESQUE BATTLEGROUNDS OF PUBG AND FREEFIRE
This paper looks at how video gaming in Kerala has evolved since the 1990s
and how online mobile multiplayer games have ushered in new a new culture of mass gaming and gaming related activities in the 21st century Malayali mediascape. The single player console/computer gaming centered chiefly in affluent households and urban gaming centers- predominant in the previous century- having been sidelined by mobile online battleground games with the percolation of gaming infrastructure to the grassroots is examined. Through detailed interviews with players from across the state and an online survey, the paper examines multifarious aspects leading to the evolution of battleground games like PUBG and FREEFIRE as a veritable cultural phenomenon in Kerala. Questions as to a separate identity of the ‘Malayali player’ is raised. The carnivalesque dynamics of these games which operate more along the east- Asian modes of play is subjected to study.
Key Words: mobile online battleground games, Malayali mediascape, PUBG, FREEFIRE, Malayali player, carnivalesque battlegrounds, east Asian modes of play
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