Video game parlours — a hangout for City youths

Kathmandu, July 20:

Video game parlours in the city are giving birth to a new breed of game addicts. These parlours are full of boys aged between 10 and 19 years.

However, parents are worried over their children’s obsession with the games. The parents say their children are leading secluded lives and their grades have suffered due to the obsession with the games.

Tenth graders Rajan Ishan, Sanil GC and Sakin Prasai said, “A parlour is a nice place to hang out with friends and play games through networking.” Asked how they manage money for playing the games they said,”We are given Rs 50 per day, and we save Rs 30 per day to play games.”

A game parlour has a number of computers with extended version of computer games. Students appear there in school uniform once their classes are over.

Asked how they manage time for study, they said, “We play computer games and watch television at home too, but at the parlour we get to play advanced game versions. Every day, we study for two hours and that’s enough. We get bored if we have to spend time at home.”

These game buffs do not come home on time. “This is a kind of addiction. They neither eat, nor give time to the family and study. They spend more than 60 per cent of their pocket money in game parlour. We do not know where to lodge complaints against these kinds of activities. Our children are ruining themselves,” said Sumitra Gyawali, mother of Suman Gyawali of New Baneswor. Mother of Deepak Shrestha, Shova, said, “Once I shouted at my son for being late for dinner, as he came home at 10:30pm from game station. That night, he left without any notice and spent the whole night in the game parlour. I remained

awake the whole night due to tension.”

The number of game parlours is increasing day by day. Game parlours are opened from early morning till late at night.” Boys aged between 10 and 19 years drop in at the parlour during daytime. Our night shift start after 9pm and boys aged between 20 and 25 years come to play games. They even sleep on the table after playing games. We are planning to open our parlour round the clock, but the house owner is against this,” said Prabhu Ram Gurung, owner of Black Box game parlour.

According to Gurung, “I think the children come to our parlour only after taking permission from their families.” The boys, who were playing game at Gurung’s parlour, said they do not take permission from their parents. Our parents will stop giving us pocket money if they know we are visiting video game parlours.

Nirmala Subedi, secretary of Kathmandu Metropolitan City Ward No 10, said they do not know how many parlours are there in their area. “As I was appointed one-and-a-half years ago, I do not know how many parlours we have here. I do not know whether opening video game parlours is legal or not.”