- Title: Back to basics: Retro games make a comeback in Indonesia
- Date: 9th October 2016
- Summary: MAN PLAYING POKEMON GO
- Embargoed: 24th October 2016 04:41
- Keywords: Indonesia games computer games culture traditional Pokemon digital toys technology
- Location: JAKARTA / DEPOK, WEST JAVA PROVINCE, INDONESIA
- City: JAKARTA / DEPOK, WEST JAVA PROVINCE, INDONESIA
- Country: Indonesia
- Topics: Living/Lifestyle,Society/Social Issues
- Reuters ID: LVA00353A8HG9
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: In the courtyard of a private school in West Jakarta, a group of children huddle around a collection of traditional Indonesian toys ranging from wooden spinning tops to bamboo pinwheels as part of a traditional games festival.
They are from a generation born in a digital age, but past methods of having fun are making a come-back, and an increasing number of Indonesians are taking a stand against digital games like Pokemon Go which they say are eroding traditional values.
Many of the toys and games on display at the school's one-day event are now a rarity in Indonesia, as most children opt to play games on their computers or palm-sized gadgets.
But parents and teachers worry that children get too caught up in the virtual world and are missing out on interacting with each other.
"We want to reintroduce them (traditional games) to the children so that they know there are other options available that are not just restricted to video games or other modern games, and a lot of traditional games can be quite fun and interesting," said Agustinus, the headmaster of the school Pilar Bangsa, or "pillar of the nation", which teaches students from kindergarten through to middle school.
Agustinus, who goes by one name, said his school would organise more events to introduce kids to traditional games.
And his school is not the only one. Authorities are reportedly aiming to instill old values in students through traditional games across the country.
The mayor of the city of Bogor has renovated a park to equip it with wooden stilts and other toys to "help children avoid Pokemon Go", media reported recently.
Some parents are nostalgic about the games they used to play and want to introduce their children to them.
"Personally I like these games, because it is very difficult to find them nowadays," said 39-year-old Januar Surjadi who was teaching his three-year-old son how to play with a bamboo toy that emitted clicking sounds when rotated. "Nowadays, children only know how to play games on phones."
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.
At a local internet cafe for online gaming, young boys sit glued to their screens.
"The colour is bright and interesting, and many people are playing it," said 10-year-old Rizky, who spends most of his time here after school.
Traditional games advocators say they may have the solution for concerned parents, as most of traditional games also help to re-instill values like teamwork.
"Traditional games can train the physical strength of children and they are simple," said traditional toy collector, Endi, adding; "these games need players to socialise with each other and so can prevent a child from becoming antisocial."
Many local toy sellers say they see an opportunity in the traditional toy come-back. Though they are often cheap, with some selling for a dollar or less, production costs are minimal, if nothing.
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