writing chapter 3.5
10,000 nautical miles southeast of Atlanta, 124 degrees around the globe, 17 hours of flight time and a six hour layover in Frankfurt. Radhu Trivedi was still mentally back at Dragoncon – the parade, the intense discussion about videogames and possibilities – he’d been really comfortable being in such a strange place, he felt welcomed and appreciated. Loved.
India had an annual comic book convention, but it was a baby only, in its third year, and Dragoncon had been around since the late ’80s. He was bowled over by the crowds, the amount of money they spent on merchandise, and the sheer energy of so many unique people flying their geek flags, as he’d heard someone call it. But tho he was excited to be included on the ground floor of an earthshaking videogame project, it was the women in superhero costumes that stuck in his mind.
So, he was going to be a game developer after all, Radhu thought as his taxi lurched from traffic jam to traffic jam on the way home from the airport. He’d gotten so close the last time, only to be let go with the others when the project finished. But now he had another shot. Finally, he could escape from his typical middle class Indian life in his typical Indian family with his typical Indian mother pressuring him to marry a typical Indian girl and his typical Indian call-center boss demanding typically impossible Indian standards for typically low Indian wages. To hell with all that. He was going to be a rich American game developer. Just as soon as he wrapped things up here.
His cousin Muttu would be very happy to hear about his trip. Mattu’s ties to the gaming industry were as bona fide as Radhu’s – he sold pirated videogames from a market stall. But he was ambitious, and had high hopes for their future. He would see all sorts of possibilities that Radhu didn’t have the head for.
Muttu loved to talk about how fat Indian kids were these days, and how much money they had, and how their parents loved indulging them with smartphones and PCs and gaming consoles. The Indian gaming industry was growing exponentially. Independent developers were springing up all over the place, and they were increasingly co-producing games with big American game companies. India was already second to none in outsourcing. All they needed was a pool of skilled professionals to actually do the work, and they would soon surpass Taiwan and South Korea to become the number one top game developing masters (by proxy) of the universe. Muttu was torn between starting up his own gaming company, opening an internet cafe, or starting a technical institute. The school seemed the safest bet, but he wasn’t cut out to be an administrator, and Radhu wasn’t leaving his call-center job for anything less than a one way ticket out of there.