Stationed right here
As PlayStation completes 25 years, four Mumbai professionals recount their tryst with the world's most loved gaming console
The game of catharsis
Dr Aman Bhonsle is a 33-year-old relationship counsellor and TA (Transactional Analysis) trainer at the Heart to Heart Counselling Centre in Mumbai. He shares an anecdote about a client-couple who lamented that they had nothing in common. It was Bhonsle who suggested they try gaming. "They forged a friendship over it and still play together," Bhonsle tells us. For him, the love for gaming can be traced back to a time when he was a nine-year-old and his father gifted him an 8-bit gaming console. "I used to play a lot of games growing up in the '90s, and incidentally, when I bought my first PlayStation it wasn't PS1 or 2, but PS3," he recalls.
Apart from fostering a love for gaming, which is natural, considering Bhonsle is an enthusiast, the psychotherapist in him, too, recommends gaming. "The problems that occur in a person's life require some form of emotional catharsis. Very often, we're conditioned by our schools and families to suppress what we really feel. Like, when someone is angry, they're told things like, 'You are disruptive,' or that 'You are a pain.' These kind of things are said to young children and that leaves latent humiliation in them.
So, certain types of video games can become a channel for catharsis, because you can only think logically once you have worked through your emotions."
Game Recommendation: Red Dead Redemption 2
Be anything you want
"You grow up to become one thing, but when you're a child, there are so many things that you want to be," says 29-year-old entrepreneur, Abbas Ali Husayn trying to explain how video games can help open up and explore different worlds. "You can't be everything that you wished, but through these games, you can see what it feels like to be a racing driver, cricketer, footballer or in the army, even if it isn't real," he adds. And this escape, Husayn shares, is what attracted him most about the PlayStation since he discovered it with friends at the age of nine at a gaming hub close to his school in Mazgaon. Since then, the young professional who helms his family-owned manufacturing business, has procured each edition of the gaming console (he is currently using PS4), and says that he has seen the brand evolve considerably, in terms of graphics and technology and user-friendliness.
Game Recommendation: God of War
Achieve a goal
Monisha Ajgaonkar, photographer and founder of The Photo Diary, has been hooked to video games since childhood — Mario and Contra being the genesis of this obsession. Although she wasn't allowed to buy video games, she'd save money to play them at the video parlour.
Detroit: Become Human
But for the past few years, she has played over 40 games on her PS4. "Every video game has a story and an end goal/mission to achieve that's what makes PS games so interesting. PS games can now connect you with other players and it's amazing how gaming technology has progressed. You can play live in groups with players all over the world. So, could it get any better in this day and life where making connections has become an integral part of development?" Ajgaonkar asks. In addition, gaming also serves as a stress buster: killing zombies and saving the world feels good. As advice to those interested in picking up the console, she adds, "Every game is personal and intense with different endings based on strategy and so, you really want to figure out and explore. You wouldn't want to stop once you discover the genre you like."
Game Recommendation: Last of Us; Detroit: Become Human
Eye on innovation
Gaming consultant Gagan Gupta, 41, has been a gamer since the '80s. In the following decade, when he was introduced to PC gaming, he thought it was all he would ever need. "I thought I wouldn't buy a console ever again. But playing my friend's PlayStation changed my mind. Though the games were not as graphically refined as PC games, the system was very easy to use and had a number of exclusive games like Ridge Racer, Gran Turismo and Tekken, which I couldn't play anywhere else," he recalls. Gupta and his brother saved up R20,000 to buy their first PS.
And for 19 years, the Sion resident has been using every console that has been released. "I picked up the PS1, which was the smaller redesigned version of the first PlayStation console in 2000. Since then, I've been using all the follow-up consoles including PS2, PS3, PSP, PS Vita. Currently, I am using PS4 Pro," he explains, adding that the presentation of 3D polygonal models was groundbreaking for him since he had only experienced flat 2D visuals prior to it. "This was a game-changer in the way that games on it offered large 3D environments that were open for exploration. Even racing games felt way more realistic than anything else before it," he shares.
Gupta adds that Sony has not shied away from experimenting and that's what he loves about it. "A couple of years back, I upgraded to a 4K TV for the exact same reason — PS4 Pro games look brilliant on it. PlayStation has also experimented with handheld gaming, VR, motion controls and even game streaming, which is what I appreciate. It offers options to enjoy PlayStation games in new and innovative ways, even if it isn't always financially viable."
Game Recommendation: Spider-man
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