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Gaming Tourism : The heights of reality?

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As a child, I remember being amused at the black think skinned rectangular, battery-powered video game that my dad brought home. At the time, merely pressing the yellow buttons on it was exciting. Little did anyone imagine that games would one day consist of humans and cars chasing each other to no end.

In the earlier days, it was a privilege to travel. I remember the days when a scooter ride to the nearby town was considered travelling since the planning would start several days in advance. It was an era where travel was restricted to the affluent few and others would be content with the beautiful scenic view of the other unseen world, from magazines and books.

Source: The Gamer

Today, as people turn into slaves of their comfort amid the overpowering role of technology played in the lives of human beings; one industry that is trying to cut through the clutter through impressive innovations is the Gaming industry. Video game industry is said to be valued at $148.8 billion. The detail and precision that go into creating a video game for the audience is unbelievably impressive and is said to improve in years to come. This has lead to an innovation known as “Gaming Tourism”.

Source: The Gamer

Gaming tourism in simple words is exploring real cities through video games. The advent of VR technology by brands like Vive and Oculus has transformed the way people view travel. Their 3D technology has allowed people to explore and experience places almost in a dream-like state, where your wildest imagination of even climbing the Mt Everest is possible by just sitting in your apartment. And for those of us who want to explore space even without having studied astrophysics or tried for NASA, Google’s, expedition application allows us to walk through international space station using the same technology. Though at the moment, the places recreated for exploration are limited, the industry is said to add more of it in the years to come. This has caught the interest of the gaming industry that has made advancements in the graphic quality to create experiences that are strikingly real world like in games. To replicate the real world, programmers have moved to the extent of copying everything from a signboard and streetlight to even placing dump bins that may be found in a particular city space.

Source: The Gamer

The programmers initially select a particular city and the radius they want to replicate in the game, which usually falls under 10 to 15 sq miles. Many cities such as New York and London has been brought to life by video game makes which lets players explore the place in its entirety. Rough guides released “the rough guide” to Xbox which lets one explore the location in Xbox games. Similarly the Japan Company, All Nippon Airways has created a video game which can take its characters through ages exploring environments of importance in Japan such as Mt Fuji and deer of Nara from 1980 to 2010. This was launched to boost Japan tourism under the “Is Japan Cool?” plan. The gaming industry has gone to eccentric extents wherein Cubisoft who created the infamous game “Assassins creed origins” even employed an in-house historian and Egyptologist to replicate the city for players to explore and to give an enriching experience. Another company that went to an extremity is Sucker punch who created the popular game, second son, set in the streets of Seattle showcasing its infamous destinations like Seattle space needle and pike place market to an extent of perfection. In order to transport players literally to these places, the programmers at sucker punch auditioned real-life residents and 3D scanned them into the game.

Source: The Gamer

In a world where travel is often restricted by political situations in a country or a pandemic, there will come a time when we will thank our technology for being able to travel without travelling. As the world moves into a recluse and lesser number of people travelling, the virtual world has come to a spotlight. Gaming tourism is set to improve the mental wellbeing of people as it proves to be a perfect getaway for anyone who loves to travel and socialise but is not privileged to do so and by 2050 it is said to set off to unimaginable heights. In the midst of all this, as my grandmother once said, “Reality can only be overpowered by an alternative reality”. Therefore though we may enjoy the makeshift world, here is hoping we don’t become the slaves of disguise.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Nikita Bawaskar

    May 5, 2020 at 12:45 pm

    It was an amazing article that inspired me in times of crises, thank you so much for this

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Kevadiya railway station becomes India’s first with green building certification

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22 January: Located in Gujarat, Kevadiya railway station has become India’s first railway station with a green building certification. For being India’s first Green Building certified station, it is also registered with the Indian Green Building Council.

The key features of the station paved the way for the city’s public transport spot to build the record. Various installations have been made in the station in order to conserve electricity like LED lights and other branded electrical appliances.

A tribal art gallery is introduced on Kevadiya railway station to attract more passengers. A viewing gallery is also made to enable the visitors to view the Statue of Unity from level three of the station. For water management, several facilities have been installed like rainwater harvesting, eco-waterless urinals, drip irrigation and sewage treatment plant.

Also read: IndiGo launches daily flights between Delhi and Leh starting Feb 22

The station area also has facilities laid for vehicle parking, food courts, landscaping, and others as well like wide traffic way, horticulture plants, thematic park with selfie zone and children play zone.

The country is preparing to facilitate the travel and tourism opportunities for the tourist, these developments are a part of it. Previously, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also flagged off 8 trains in order to ease travel to Statue of Unity from various other regions of the country. With these developments, the access and travel to the world-famous Statue of Unity in India have become easier and sorted as now people can travel directly to Kevadiya through these trains.

For more information on which trains will carry you to Gujarat’s Statue of Unity, read our report:

8 new trains connect to Kevadiya; improves connectivity with Statue of Unity

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IRCTC offers free air fare to passengers booking for Golden Chariot

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22 January: In a surprising offer reportedly, the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) is offering free air tickets for the passengers who are opting for luxury tourist packages in the Golden Chariot which is a luxury train. This offer can be availed by anyone.

The Tourism and Marketing spokesperson of the IRCTC, Shubham Arya said that they will offer flexibility in booking the ticket dates and that will be according to the demand of the passenger only.

Adding that the train bookings can be done 2 to 3 days in advance, he said that the passengers can also book the tickets 2-3 days after the Golden Chariot tour is completed. He also informed that free airfare will be between Chandigarh-Bengaluru-Chandigarh.

Also read: 8 new trains connect to Kevadiya; improves connectivity with Statue of Unity

Divulging the details of this offer, IRCTC Regional manager MPS Raghav mentioned that this offer is valid for the domestic air travel to and from Bengaluru and Chandigarh and for those who are booking tickets for the luxury train Golden Chariot.

Further, he also added that the Indian railway has introduced 2 itineraries that are first, departing from Bengaluru and covering locations such as Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Goa and then returning to the starting point. Any citizen going fo the higher package of the 2 itineraries would be given free tickets of the train.

These luxury tour packages to South India will provide an opportunity for travellers to understand the cultures and royalty of the Indian region, South India.

The luxury Golden Chariot train will provide the best of the state-of-the-art amenities to the passengers on board. From smart TVs installations, to clean bathrooms, from fire alarm systems to CCTVs for security, the train is keeping all amenities on top priority to bestow the best travel experience of the passengers.

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Seychelles reopens for tourism, allow vaccinated tourists for now

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22 January: The island nation Seychelles located in East Africa is all set to re-welcome the visitors into the country, however only for the vaccinated ones. Setting up the scenarios to reframe the travel in the country and avoid the arrival of more covid cases, both at the same time, the country has developed few travel restrictions.

The visitors in the country must be recognised as ‘vaccinated’ by taking both the doses of the Covid-19 vaccine. Also, they must carry a negative report from the RT-PCR test, that too, not taken prior to the 72 hours of their journey period.

According to orders by the government, Seychelles will welcome the tourists with a two-step approach. In the first phase, it will allow the ones who have taken both the doses of the vaccine and have a negative covid report.

Also read: It snows in the Sahara Desert! Snow-laden pictures hit the Internet

As per reports, the second phase will begin from mid-March’ it is expected that the island nation will vaccine a significant part of its population by that time.

As stated by the country’s Tourism Promotion Board, going by the numbers, it is assumed that as much as 25% of the country’s population will be vaccinated by the mid-March which can allow the government to roll down the second phase. It is also expected that the country may then allow the unvaccinated tourist into the country with only a negative RT-PCR report done within 72 hours of their journey.

Another statement also noted that Seychelles has already allowed Indian travellers to the country, however, by private jet transfers only for now.

As of now, according to the health and travel advisory issued by the government, all the citizens arriving in Seychelles are bound to follow the safety norms including social distancing and wearing face masks.

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