Digital Gaming – The new export? | OPINION

If we do not export such value-added computing, other countries will do so, and India will become a major consumer of imported digital games, writes Dr. Jaijit Bhattacharya. increase.

Digital games have been around since modern computers were created. (Image source: India Today)

Dr. Jajit Bhattacharya : It was clear that online gaming would become a huge industry in India and globally as everything went digital. This is not a new phenomenon. Digital games have been around since modern computers were created. It has simply been inflated with the advent of the Internet and better digital infrastructure. And Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a clear call for India to focus on potentially competitive new large-scale industries, calling online games digital games and promoting policies to strengthen support for the gaming industry. doing.

So what’s the problem with India’s digital games industry when the government backs the industry, hundreds of start-ups are popping up, and people are consuming digital games as cheap entertainment? It stems from the fact that some games are actually gambling, making it difficult to draw the line between stopping gaming and starting gambling. The reason for this situation is the fact that people have to pay to use the gaming service and the game includes a payout if they win. The problem is that there is a view that digital games should be considered a ‘sin’ and therefore the ‘sin tax’ is applied at 28% of the total amount instead of 18%. About Platform Earnings. This is similar to his GST of 28% applied to all bank deposits and 18% not applied to interest income. So if we take the stance that any game involving real money is gambling, then even a service like Netflix is ​​gambling because real money is involved in the subscription and the games it offers. As such, gambling is not an easy problem for policy makers to solve as it affects people and families negatively and must be discouraged.

Also, take a look at what’s at stake and why the Prime Minister wants to promote digital games. increase. India has approximately 450 million digital game users, a significant number of whom are women, and considers it a safe and convenient option. for entertainment. It will also be a way to bring more women into the digital world, narrowing the digital gender gap. The digital games industry has earned over Rs 150 crore with his combined valuation of Rs 15 crore across over 1,000 companies. Digital games can also be killer apps that contribute to the use of BharatNet, a major government communications project. Digital games contribute Rs 220 crore annually in indirect tax and probably the same amount in direct tax. Those are all big numbers, and at stake are thousands of jobs and access to cheap entertainment.

Additionally, digital games will become the next generation of exports. As exports evolved, for thousands of years we only exported commodities. After that, we started exporting unskilled workers, semi-skilled workers, and even highly skilled workers such as programmers and bankers. Then came the remote delivery of services and the birth of the BPO and KPO industries. And now we are slowly working on exporting value-added computing. What this essentially means is that you are selling compute from your data center and cloud computing facilities by providing added value to that compute. Digital games are one such important added value.

And the problem is that if we don’t export such value-added calculators, other countries will, and India will become a big consumer of imported digital games. There is always an argument that the consumption of such digital game imports can be discouraged, but we all know that efforts to discourage the importation of such imports are akin to efforts towards a ban. I know.

So what can India do to seize the opportunity and at the same time curb the evils of gambling? In addition to this, it is also a challenge to prevent users from falling into digital addiction. We may need to consider regulations that impose limits on how much money individuals can spend on a single digital gaming platform and limit the amount of time individuals can play on digital gaming platforms. Digital addiction has also been well researched, and regulations may need to be considered to prevent digital addiction.

After all, new kinds of services pose regulatory challenges. Careful steps must be taken to ensure that fledgling industries are not given a terminal sentence while trying to create a supporting regulatory framework. A prime example of such regulations concerns drones, and India is one of the first countries to have regulations that have led to the explosion of the Indian drone industry. Hopefully, similar subsidiary regulations will help India emerge as a digital games export powerhouse.

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