India launches digital gaming research initiative to promote and popularize local culture

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India will launch its digital games research initiative to develop high-end technologies for an immersive gaming environment with the aim of promoting and popularizing Indian culture, a senior official said.

The Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) Digital Gaming Research Initiative will have three branches – R&D in educational and recreational gaming platforms; Collaborative technical design process: SERB Game Labs; and immersive game prototypes with a focus on Indian culture and values.

SERB Secretary Sandeep Verma said on Twitter that the R&D initiative will connect academia, startups and industry to rapidly develop high-end R&D concepts for Indian game engines, procedural content generators, design patents/copyrights for gamers – and to develop community-oriented games.

Digital games and simulations represent exciting S&T problems for research and translation, leading to significant commercial potential on a global scale, Verma said.

Innovation will include cross-cutting research in engineering, computer science, visual graphics, fine arts and social sciences, he said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been fighting to increase India’s presence in the international gambling sector.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced the establishment of a task force to promote the animation, visual effects, gaming and comics sectors.

Several domestic game developers have recently announced plans to launch Indian-themed games like Indus Battle Royale, which draws inspiration from the weapons and landscapes that were part of the earliest civilization in India.

Indian players had also launched FAUG – Fearless and United Guards, an Indian-themed battle royale game, as a counterpart to PUBG and Free Fire.

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