Stories about video games

Just 45 rupees

It was a warm sunny afternoon in Karachi and Ahsan was spending his summer vacations playing console games while relaxing on his favourite beanbag. His mother entered the room with the usual frown on her face, one that he expected every day. With a hint of annoyance in her tone, she questioned him, “Can you be a little productive during your vacations?” “Mom, it’s just the first week of my break”, he whined. “Take the car and get me these vegetables”, she ordered, handing him the list. “But Mom, I need to finish this game before the electricity goes!” he explained. “Fine, then you’re not getting biryani for lunch”, ...

Read Full Post

Beyond: Two Souls is not just a video game, it’s a gamer’s paradise!

I’ve been playing video games for as long as I can remember. My passion for video games started with the old Atari’s and Sega Genesis, and has now moved to PC games and PlayStation 3 (PS3).  I’ve played many video games; you name it and I’ve played it. But the game I just finished ‘Beyond: Two Souls’ was just something else. This game kept me at the edge of my couch throughout the whole time I was playing it. Developed by Quantic Dreams and published by Sony Computer Entertainment, Inc (SCEI), it is a PS3 exclusive game which released in September 2013. The story revolves around the ...

Read Full Post

When even videogames target Muslims, you know you live in an age of hate

I love gaming. We gamers don’t just play games for the sake of venting our frustration on remote control buttons and enjoying the graphics of a particular game; we follow the storylines as well and the characters become idols. Don’t believe me? Consider the example of a cousin of mine who came to meet me after many months. The first thing he did – without any greeting whatsoever – was blurt out, “Arey yaar Zain Bhai, apko pata hai Walking Dead mien Lori mar gayi?” (Oh man, Zain Bhai do you that Lori from Walking Dead died?) It is an obsession, yes and our tech ...

Read Full Post

The lucky generation?

The nagging drawbacks of generation gap become clear when one observes activities of today’s children. I feel that today’s fast-paced living has deprived children of the real joys of childhood. Spending all their time indoors, children now remain hooked to the internet on hi-tech gadgets and barely ever see the light of the day. A stark contrast with my generation’s childhood: we pulled pranks at school and spent time interacting face-to-face with several of our friends. Our little pleasures were about pulling faces at the teacher while she turned around, and making the class laugh. Our childhood was about running ...

Read Full Post

Watch out! Video games could breed our own Breiviks

Norway’s mass killer Anders Behring Breivik, in an effort to ‘desensitise’ himself before going on his shooting spree, spent a total of 130 hours playing the video game “Call of Duty”, as revealed by the judge who sentenced him. This reminds me of my own 15-year-old brother and several other people I know of, who are not just fans of this game, but play it religiously. Is there a possibility of any of them turning out to be something like Breivik? It would be a sweeping generalisation if I say yes. But the idea of these games helping in the desensitisation of someone cannot ...

Read Full Post

Have you been consoled?

For some Mario was short. For others, he was short only in height and not in ambition. Have you ever met a guy that could jump from one platform to the next, picking up golden coins only to land right on top of the nifty Koopas Troopas, eventually squishing them? I hadn’t. But, it wasn’t that which kept me coming back for another game with a bag of coins in my hands and a slightly loopy grin. It was the sight of those huge arcade box machines that made the place around them come alive. The character-themed art, the glimmering lights, the score ...

Read Full Post

10 things I hate about being a Pakistani gamer

For many in Pakistan, video games are still in the same category as children’s cartoons – which I still watch, by the way. But for hardcore gamers, video games can be a form of art that aside from providing entertainment, can also stimulate one on an artistic and intellectual level. Personally, I’d like to see a child perfectly execute a bomb disposal with zero casualties in the tactical shooter, Rainbow Six, or lead their nation to world domination in the strategy game, Sid Meier’s Civilisation. Also, I’d love to see a child frag me in an online shooter, like Battlefield. Okay, ...

Read Full Post

Confessions of a gamer girl

Clad in a conventional kameez-shalwar, hair pulled back in a tight braid, earphones in place and laptop sitting snugly in my lap – there I was, an ordinary young lady merely going about her daily computing routine. However, one might easily overlook the bunched muscles in my tense shoulders, clenched teeth, taut jaw and furrowed brows. Or even miss the flaring emotion in my eyes. I would not hold it against anyone if they missed these details. After all, it takes one to know one. And not everyone is a gamer. I have honestly nothing to hide: I have a gaming fetish, one ...

Read Full Post

‘Xbox on!’

The gaming market just got a lot more competitive (and physically exerting). Kinect for Xbox 360 was released last week which means all leading videogame consoles now have motion based gaming support. Sony launched the PlayStation Move last month while Nintendo’s Wii has had the feature since 2006. A Kinect can be bought for abot Rs20,000 in the local market while a PS Move controller with its sensor costs half that. What is cool about Kinect Kinect is a completely new take on motion-based input as it requires no physical controllers to control a game. As Microsoft’s tagline goes, “you are ...

Read Full Post

Robots with guns (and morals?)

Robotic warfare is here. US soldiers are killing insurgents across the world with remote controlled drones. A worried UN investigator Christof Heyns has urged the UN to set up a panel on the ethics of robot weapons. We in Pakistan are fighting faceless machines now, they appear out of nowhere, shoot us down and disappear. The right kind of war Would you want a war where your sole existence depends on the decision of a machine which cannot see, hear or feel? War is supposed to have consequences that may be lost if the current trend of robotic warfare continues. When war is dehumanized and ...

Read Full Post