Game for Life

Gaming is in its best phases. Stunning graphics and stupendous sounds make for an amazing experience. But as we tap away on our PSs and Wiis and not to forget PCs, we forgot what joy and thrill of gaming is. The joy and thrill only a video-game could provide. Yes, the very humble predecessors of today’s gaming monsters. Nothing beats the simplicity of game-play and sheer satisfaction that these 2-D games provide. Here is a list of things that form a collection I fondly call ‘Hall of Game’:

Oh Mario!– First he walked into video-games, then into our hearts and now he also comes in 3-D. Mario and his brother Luiggi have become the face of the gaming industry and the Mario Bros. game has become an all-time classic. Easily the best game I have ever played, it is the boundless possibilities of the title and the surprise-element it offers that makes it a memorable game. (Try cracking the 7th level….)

What to do? – No directions here! Unlike today’s games which come fully equipped with directions and tutorials, games of the yesteryear were mysteries until you actually played them. I still remember frantically tapping all the keys on the game-pad on my first brush with Contra. Which reminds me….

Contra Craze– While the Mario brothers were hogging the limelight another twosome were making ripples. These gun wielding, bare-bodied cousins of Salman Khan were on a rampage, literally. Contra caught our imagination with its flair, awesome action and never before seen sequences. And the game-play was captivating to say the least. The double-player mode was a revelation as well. Subsequent titles kept the flag flying.

Para4 9999999– Have you ever seen a name ‘Super Mario 9999999’? Well, this is one of the numerous crazy titles that you find on a game-cartridge. We kids used get really excited on seeing such names, only to find the same old game, what a dud!

Green Chaos– As we grew familiar with video-game consoles, to break open the cartridge cover came naturally to us. The little, green circuit boards were easier to carry, hide, and share sans the bulky cover. I still find it hard to believe that I could recognize exactly which game-cassette (the local name) has which game, when I was young.
These memories are hard to forget.

Oh yeah! I almost forgot the honorable mentions. These did not make it to the list but are worth a mention:
-Islander game series (Beautiful game environment and brilliant colours)

-Plug-pins (12 pin and 36 pin plugs were more common to us than the table-fan plug)

-Gunman (I still don’t know how those game-guns work….)

-Jumbo-Combos (Go ahead and press any and every key and brace yourself for a move never seen before)

Do you have any fond memories of your halcyon gaming days?

Drop a line then!


20-20-20 and T20

Lights, camera aaand, T20 is born.

Cricket’s newest baby is here to stay. Such has been its flamboyance; no one’s escaped from it. Even the U.S., a nation that scoffed at the gentleman’s game till about a decade ago, is giving a serious thought to it!

Twenty-20, a brainchild of the English, is a rage and is spreading like wildfire. Short game, shorter ground and cheerleaders with even shorter skirts, T20 has got people sit up and take notice of cricket.

But what stings me is the pessimistic reaction of the purists and players (which, to me was a bit surprising…). They state that T20 is all fun and no work, where the basic values of the glorious game are demeaned. In short it’s hardly cricket.

I beg to differ. Here I would like to state that in no way am I trying to disrespect any former greats or current players or The Game for that matter. I for one, will be the first to drool over the prospect of an Indo-Oz test bash, and yet…

For starters, cricket’s hardly a global sport. So, why stop something which is taking cricket places? Countries which were alien to the game are now willing to cash in on its newfound vigour. Imagine the French locking horns with the Chinese in WC2027 semis? The prospect is soul-bathing.

And all the three forms of the game CAN co-exist. I believe that all of them can be the part of the landscape. So, it would be naïve to smell conspiracy.

Let’s not kill the golden-goose. The onus is on us whether we want to play dillydally in our halcyon with a handful of nations or help cricket spread its wings and soar.

Of course there will be setbacks, but we can surely take them. Let’s give the I.O.C something to pain their heads on. What say?