Back to basics: Retro games make a comeback in Indonesia

Sat Oct 8, 2016 11:42pm EDT
 
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By Eveline Danubrata and Glenys Kirana

JAKARTA (Reuters) - An increasing number of Indonesians are taking a stand against digital games like Pokemon Go that they say erode values, and encouraging children to play traditional toys like wooden spinning tops and bamboo pinwheels.

Tens of thousands of Indonesians were hooked on Nintendo's augmented reality app, in which players hunt virtual characters in real-life places, months before the smash-hit game was officially launched in the Southeast Asian country.

But parents and teachers worry that children get too caught up in the virtual world and are missing out on interacting with each other.

Some parents are nostalgic about the games they used to play and want to introduce their children to them.

Hundreds of parents and children attended a traditional games festival on a recent weekend at the Pilar Bangsa, or "pillar of the nation", school in West Jakarta.

A gaggle of children huddled around a wooden board, taking turns shooting marbles at goal posts made of rubber bands in a version of table soccer.

Others were tying strings around tops and spinning them on a circular platform.

"Traditional games involve more activities, whereas electronic games only require kids to use their thumbs," said Januar Surjadi, who was teaching his three-year-old boy to play with a bamboo toy that made a clicking sound when spun.   Continued...

 
Boys play a mini soccer game during an event for traditional games at a school in Jakarta, Indonesia, October 1, 2016.  Picture taken October 1, 2016. REUTERS/Iqro Rinaldi