Ritanjali Hastir, Freelance Writer, January, 2014, Shimla
It is often said what goes around comes around; all trends repeat themselves after completion of a cycle, it may be for fashion or lifestyle. One such trend that resurrected this winter is Video Gaming.
People belonging to the generation of eighties have had the best of everything. They were the ones who had experienced the thrilling world of video games, in the 90s every second shop in the City was crowed with children fervently waiting for their turns to play hooting, trying to distract the other player.
As history always repeats itself, the trend has once again picked up. Being a winter vacation, with hardly any other alternatives for children, they have found solace in gaming. While informing about the resurrected trend Sunil Sood, owner of the game parlor on The Mall informs, “There was time when our shop was fully packed with children waiting to play. For quite a long time we made good business during gaming frenzy. Later many children got their personal video game consoles and even computer games gave a hard blow to our business”.
“Now once again children are returning to the parlor and it feels great at times as their parents too were once our customers and now their kids are. It is like an emotional tie with all of us here. Over the years the playing charge rates have changed as before it was rupee one and two but now it is rupees five per game. Many old games like car racing — everyone’s favorite in 90s — are still in demand. Other games that are in demand include Mustafa, School, Tekken – Tad, 5, 4, 3; mostly belonging to action category”, he informs further.
As per the information provided by Sunil, children belonging to age of five years onwards are their daily customers. Ashish Kumar, a class sixth student while sharing his interest said, “I do not have many friends as during vacations most of them visit their native places. Once I came for Ice Skating and due to the cancellation of the session I was roaming around, when I came across this parlor. Ever since, I try my best to come here as often as possible. My favorite game is Tekken as I love action games, for me all versions do”.
“I am very adventurous kind of a person and hence Mustafa is my favorite game. Though the game-play is similar to many other side-scrolling fighting games of the time, such as Streets of Rage or Final Fight, distinctive feature of this game is the frequent use of firearms, rarely seen in other games of this kind. Normally favoured weapons include bottles and knives. The sequel of game allows one to have control of the titular vehicle by radioing for it, though it is difficult to keep the car intact for long, considering powerful Hogg armed with grenades in the end”, shares Manik Verma, a class ninth student.
Though many children now have PCs and other gadgets at home to play in their comfort zone, still they are step for gaming outdoors. This socializing exercise is giving a new dimension to the gaming experience along with encouraging positive competitive spirit among the youth.