Breaking free of societal stigmas for a young teenager is not a cup of tea.
And the “coming of age” narrative gets more difficult and complicated when one is a young girl living in a conservative environment like India.
Self-expression usually takes up the tertiary goal in life here. With marriage for girls and salaries for sons becoming the “go-to” conversation in a common household, there is never really enough space for self-exploration.
How RSVP’s Mismatched effectively integrates League of Legends on Netflix
When Mismatched integrated Riot Games’ League of Legends into the daily narrative of a young Indian girl, for many, it did feel like a natural progression that a teenager’s life would take to find an agency.
Which video gamer doesn’t like to look at life like one big, giant RPG?
With each action taken and each decision made, every individual goes through stages, or rather levels in life, acquiring skills along the way to an objective.
In Mismatched, the protagonist Dimple finds her self expression and worth in League of Legends. Hailing from a very conservative home where all her mother did was to get her prepared for marriage from a very young age, Dimple finds her expression in “Fantasy.”
She finds her expression in a champion who is as strong and as impulsive and hot-headed as she is. Dimple finds herself in Riven.
Growing up and Champion Select
In any video game, may it even be MOBAs, the character or champion you select speaks a lot about your personality and who you are.
Even though much of Mismatched’s attempt at a bildungsroman takes place behind the camera, we often see Dimple flexing her fingers on Riven in the top lane.
Riven is one of the more aggressive champions in League of Legends. Her biography points at her impulsive nature and how she was ambitious from a very young age.
Dimple, too, is one of the more ambitious characters in the series. She wouldn’t settle for less and always tried to be the best in whichever goal she set her mind to.
Even the Morgana pick in the final showdown between her and Anmol’s Ezreal speaks volumes of the amount of growth she had as a character in Season 1 of the series.
Mismatched is a big step in helping video games go mainstream in India
The Mismatched Netflix series by RSVP was adapted from Sandhya Menon’s 2017 The New York Times bestseller When Dimple Met Rishi.
With the main focus of the story revolving around the theme of “an arranged marriage setup gone wrong,” the series represents a growing-up story in the tried and tested rom-com formula.
But what Mismatched did differently than other romance-comedies is that it showed a completely different type of self-expression.
Playing competitive video games and streaming has been growing exponentially in India. IPs like PUBG Mobile, Free Fire, Valorant, and League of Legends have made quite a splash in the esports ecosystem of the nation.
That being said, multiplayers are not the only thing that is on the rise, as video game development in India has seen an unprecedented amount of success in the past few months.
Raji, an indie game set in India and made by Indian developers, was recently nominated for the Best debut Indie game category at The Game Awards 2020.
India is finally on the map, and video games are slowly integrating themselves into the daily lives of the nation’s youth.
In a recent conversation with Sportskeeda Esports, Sukamal Pegu, who is the Head of Publishing, India and South Asia at Riot Games, felt that:
“Mismatched is a mirror to India where young people are chasing their dreams. Gaming in India is going mainstream and the protagonist in the show, Dimple is very ambitious and a gamer and League of Legends is her favorite game.”
When talking about League of Legends being integrated into the show, he said that:
“When we were approached by the makers of the show to integrate League of Legends into the show, we were very excited at the prospect of being able to showcase the best aspects of the gamer lifestyle and the fact that in the end, these are normal kids who are dealing with challenges of life and are giving it their best. More power to young India and hopefully we get to see many more gamer stories come out.”
Video games, much like Japanese anime and manga, are slowly becoming a more common point of discourse among today’s Indian youths. These forms of art and entertainment are “often overlooked” and dismissed as a passing fancy with the wave of a hand.
What many fail to realize is that they are not only a source of livelihood, but also a form of self-expression for so many out there in the world.Published 26 Nov 2020, 13:56 IST