A screengrab from the mobile game.
A screengrab from the mobile game.

Opinion | IAF’s new joystick

  • For years, hoardings and television commercials have tried to catch the pulse of young Indians who might harbour high-octane dreams of an air force career

The Indian Air Force (IAF) has found a smart way to generate enthusiasm for the armed forces among youngsters. It is set to release a mobile game for Android and iOS users. The game’s teaser, out on Twitter, combines passion for national security with the promise of zip-zap-zoom thrills. It features a fighter pilot with a gunslinger moustache, and if that’s not enough to evoke Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman’s patriotic spirit, the words “I am an air warrior" appear in proud lettering on your screen.

For years, hoardings and television commercials have tried to catch the pulse of young Indians who might harbour high-octane dreams of an air force career. The idea of a video game is far more powerful, all the more so now with the IAF riding the crest of a post-Balakot popularity wave. Unlike regular ads, games these days are highly immersive and involving, even addictive, and the intimacy of the experience they offer is sufficient to provide a feel of the real world of combat. In that sense, this is a superb manoeuvre on the IAF’s part. With luck, the appeal of our defence forces will grow ever stronger among young Indian men and women.

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