[Chinese DiGRA 2015] Tilak Jha on Linking the Old with the New through Digital Games

Tilak Jha,  Zhejiang University

That old generation is picking up its interest in digital games is a proven phenomenon now in most aging countries with proper digital infrastructure. China’s demographic trend also points towards an era of digital games among old generation. While targeting the older richer generation as a business model is the popular trend, free games continue to bring the push factor, indeed with parallel source of revenue from advertising or elsewhere. Amid the usual financial give and take digital gaming model that usually crowds the non-Chinese and especially the western digi-games model, there is a need for a different form of barter. This is of conceptualizing a platform like the freeware Adventure Maker that brings the older to the closer through something that may be christened “Project Old-New Digital Story” or “Being Young Digitally” or simply “Keep in Touch.” This ideational project would bring the historical usual storytellers – the old, and listeners – the young, together on a digital gaming platform. Stories and games can be recreated through animation, simulations and augmented reality. It could also link up potential old and new together to be part of their digital family – not to deny the emotional and even health benefits of a holistic digital gaming ecosystem. This paper proposes to study the existing digital gaming model to propose ideas for such a future project that brings the old and new in re-imagining life and struggles, and the world beyond inside. At a time when people are travelling on average more than their previous generational counterparts, this study proposes to look into models outside China that are likely to work here. It thus approaches this subject based on a review of old and young gamers’ interest across geographies.

Author info

Tilak Jha has done Masters in Convergent Journalism from AJK Mass Communication Research Centre, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi and M. Phil in Chinese Studies from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. He is currently studying Public Policy on Asian Future Leaders Scholarship in Zhejiang University, Hangzhou. His research interests include communication, international relations and public policy issues.