Ashish Madineni (21), Gamer
When I was younger, I used to play the good old games. I played Contra on the NES. When I was younger, it was just for fun. But, just three years ago, I took up professional gaming. I played the game CounterStrike, and was well-known in the Chennai and India circuits. When I started gaming, I did not do well. I was so bad that people would try to shut the server when I came online because they did not want me in their team. But I trained and got better. What I like about CounterStrike is that anyone can play it, and that even a newbie can beat a pro. It doesn’t matter what equipment you have in the game. It’s also luck. Gaming gave me confidence. I used to be a fat kid when I was younger, and got bullied a lot for it. I was really shy and quiet because of it. But then, when I started gaming under the name Lord Bathura, I was known as that person, not Ashish anymore. Ashish is nervous and quiet and shy. Lord Bathura is the exact opposite. People say gamers are introverts. I know a guy who is so shy and timid in real life, but when he starts playing, he’s calling the shots and he’s engaging. Different people communicate differently. Maybe some people aren’t as good as other sin expressing themselves in person, but they can do better through a screen. I wish Chennai had more gaming clubs and groups that supported gamers. That way, more people can break out of the bubble and play all over the nation.