A new video game inspired by Ramanujan and South India might be on your consoles soon. It is part of Steam Greenlight, an initiative to use people's votes to decide whether a particular game should be developed or not.
The game called Antariksha Sanchar (Transmissions in Space) recently released a gameplay teaser for Episode Zero. It is going to be a point-and-click adventure game set in the 1920s in a temple town in South India whose "protagonists are inspired by mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan and Indian classical dancer Jayalakshmi Eshwar". Talk about OTP.
The game is a collaboration between musician Avinash Kumar and Quicksand GamesLabs, a gaming studio based in Delhi.
Kumar told Brown Paper Bag, "The starting point of the project was a dance production of the same name by my mother and Bharatanatyam dancer Jayalakshmi Eshwar. In this spectacle, she traces the idea of flight from small plants to insects to birds and finally to mythological concepts like Hanuman, the Pushpaka Vimana and the Vaimanika Shastra, an early 20th century Sanskrit text on aerospace technology.”
Here is a video of Eshwar's performance.
Depictions of India in the global gaming industry have been few and far between. In 2008, Microsoft did not release Fallout 3 in India, fearing backlash from the inclusion of a breed of two-headed mutated cows named Brahmin. Sensitive naming strategy, right? Let's hope that the quantum of research that has gone into Antariksha Sanchar will make it different.