CHANGING THE GAME WITH SIDDHARTH JAIN
A geek, a history buff, a technologist and an entrepreneur, Siddharth Jain, is on a mission to bring wholesome family fun back to the table. He talks to Creative Sparq about his journey as a gamer, the benefits of playing games as an enabler for learning and the buzz around his latest creation – Avertigos-South China Sky.
A historical narrative forms the spine of your board game, Avertigos China Sky. Tell me more about the storyline.
I am huge history buff, particularly fond of naval and military history. Avertigos is a game about flying sail-ship miniatures. It’s set in a rich and deep world. When we were considering whether to do a fantasy or sci-fiction angle for the game, we felt that both genres had been overdone. So, we decided to go on the Alternate History track.The inspiration comes from the naval might of the Chinese in the 14th and 15th century. The Chinese in the 1400s had the largest navy in the world, significantly larger than what Britain had at its height. Admiral Zheng He [also known as Cheng Ho], a favourite of the Yongle Emperor, almost circumnavigated the world in the early 1400s. He travelled through South East Asia extensively including Singapore [which was called Long Ya Men at that time] and India. Most of the Peranakan culture in this region has its roots in of those voyages.
However as is often wont to happen, political agendas became more important. After the Yongle emperor, the son who came to power, the Hongxhi Emperor, destroyed the entire naval fleet along with historical records of his father’s achievements. Many hypothesize that if the Chinese had still been active in the region perhaps Europeans may not have had the impact they had in Asia through their colonial exploits.
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