At seven, what game did you play? Ludo or hide and seek, perhaps? And what did you get in return if you won? Maybe a candy bar or cotton candy? If you’re a 90s kid, this must be relatable. But it’s 2022 – the games have changed, and so have the rewards.
Akarsh Chaudhary aka Vivone is one of the youngest online gamers in India. He is offered up to one lakh for two to three video collaborations of his gaming content. A seven-year-old from Mumbai, Vivone has a schedule like all the other kids in his neighborhood that includes homework, meeting friends and swimming lessons. But what’s different about his day are the three hours each afternoon he spends playing online. He plays BGMI, Valorant, Call of Duty: Warzone, CODM, Pokémon UNITE and more, and also streams his content on YouTube and game streaming platform, Rooter.
Vivone has 56,300 followers on Instagram, 3.73 followers on YouTube, and 22,000 followers on Rooter.
Her father, Vivek Chaudhary, is focused on improving Vivone’s skills and not looking for monetization options at this time. Chaudhary senior, who played video games himself, says he wants Vivone to set an example of how online gaming can become a career and how, like any other traditional athlete, an online gamer can also represent his country at international tournaments.
Capture brand attention and learn life lessons
Chaudhary and Vivone’s new streaming platform partner Rooter, however, is inundated with offers. From gadget brands to fantastic apps and even some FMCG brands are willing to offer up to Rs 1 million for video collaboration. What do they get in return? Reach, access, attention and transfer from influencer to brand.
Some of the streaming videos on YouTube have hit 24,000 views, making Vivone a favorite brand in the segment. Content creators with a subscriber base like that of Vivone can earn up to five rupees per month from streaming.
But is all of this too overwhelming for a seven-year-old? For Vivone, this is not the case, the family tells us. His parents believe that balance is the most important factor and once someone is perfected there is no need to worry.
“Vivone streams games for three hours a day. It’s been his routine since he was five. He knows he can’t play more than that and has other activities to look forward to. It’s important for gamers too to have other hobbies, so they aren’t eaten up with their gaming gadgets all day,” says his father.
Vivone also seems to be learning life lessons from the game.
Her father tells us that he taught Vivone to deal with the negative phases: “He realizes that you win some and you lose some.”
Not child’s play
Balancing is an important parameter. According to “Science, Translated,” an international science-based publication, the term “problem gamers” was coined to describe those who habitually spend long hours playing video games.
While the article titled “The Effects of Video Games on the Mental Health and Psychosocial Behavior of Children” talks about problem gambling, it also focuses on the possibility of positive effects on the psychosocial well-being of a child. individual. It highlights how many games can stimulate a child’s psychosocial development by promoting interaction, confidence and also the ability to cope with failure.
As Vivone lives out every kid’s dream of screen time and hours of gaming, he’s been inundated with offers from esports organizations to become a streaming partner.
The kid, however, is unaffected by the monetization burden. He just loves playing his games and his cute commentary while streaming adds an extra touch, making the content popular among fans and brands.
The ambition of a seven-year-old player
According to Kumar, in a few years the players will make the country proud internationally and it will become a sought after career,” he says.
But there are challenges. Games and video games in general are still considered recreational and all too often harmful, especially for young gamers and children. However, things are changing with organizational initiatives and new regulations.
Gambling is a matter of state and various stakeholder bodies attempt to regulate the industry centrally to ensure uniformity. That aside, there is already a set of guidelines that gaming companies must follow while delivering marketing communications.
As Vivone signs on, we ask her what her favorite games are. “Valorant and BGMI are my favorite games,” he says. And what does he want to be when he grows up? Spoiler alert – a professional gamer. He tells Storyboard18, “I want to be known internationally and my parents tell me that in twelve years, when I turn sixteen, I can represent India in world tournaments.”
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