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The Dark Underbelly Of Streaming Games
When Tamil Nadu police revealed PUBG Madan earned more than a crore a year gaming online, people who till then saw it as a mode of entertainment and timepass were aghast. They were clueless on the dark side of it, involving money in crores.
“Online games are target based. To achieve targets, people spend money. Gamers act as middlemen to help players complete targets and earn money through the players,” said a Chennai cyber crime Inspector on request of anonymity.
Apart from PUBG, there are several games where big money is involved. The gamers start earning when they stream games online, either via YouTube, Facebook or Twitch. On YouTube, there are various options through which players send money, such as super chat, super stickers and membership.
Comments of those sending money will get highlighted and online streamers will read them. Players will also pay by becoming members of the channel. When a player becomes a member of a specific channel, his every comment will get highlighted, though it costs more.
The online gamers also have the option of playing with channel members and for the sake of playing with the famous online gamers, their subscribers and supporters become members. Another way of collecting money is by displaying the Gpay, Phonepe or Paytm numbers on the live screen and asking subscribers to send money.
To keep subscribers glued to their live stream, online gamers use various strategies. One such is abusive content. Most youngsters like online abuse hurled at women and when their favourite streamer abuses women, they send money for more of it.
According to psychiatrists, players who encourage streamers’ online abuse are mentally disturbed. “To prevent this parents should take control by enforcing parent locks available on such sites,” said Dr Vasanth Ranganathan, Consultant Psychiatrist, Fortis Hospital, Chennai. Social media also pay streamers whose videos get more than 1,000 views. The payment starts from $2 and goes on up to several hundred dollars.
When asked how much children involved spend on gaming, cybercrime police said it runs into lakhs. Recently, a kid from a police family in Chennai spent Rs 3 lakh on online gaming without the knowledge of his parents.
Cybercrime police suggest that parents monitor their children. “Their computers should be placed in halls and not in rooms to keep a constant tab on what children do in online space,” said an officer.