Onflight games handy, but difficult to control

Electronic gaming has become so much a part of mass culture that it is ubiquitous ― seemingly everywhere at the same time. (For readers who are unfamiliar with the term, now is as good a time as ever to plug it into your mental dictionary because it’s not a highly technical word anymore.) In fact, gaming has become ubiquitous to the point that a reporter cannot escape from writing her weekly digital cuts corner even while on a foreign business trip, because games turn up on every (or almost every) corner.
Onboard Korean Air bound for the United States, each seat was a pseudo private gaming kiosk. The gaming experience, which used to be available only for those riding business or first class, is now for everyone. Economy seats also have individual screens and a menu full of games ― from Blackjack and brick-breaking to mini golf.
The remote control looks like a normal remote control, and controls the volume and audio/video channels, but also serves dually as a game pad. At the end of the remote control are the directional buttons, and another set of four buttons, each colored differently ― very much like a commercial game pad. Depending on the game, the remote control also has to be held in the same manner as a game pad, which is horizontally.
The non-action options such as card games were easy to play, but the arcade games, such as brick-breaking or golf, proved to be difficult. The games themselves were extremely easy, but the game pad was very sensitive and difficult to use for fine controlling. This turned out to be a bit of problem in the brick-breaking game, because even a slight nudge would send the paddle hurtling to the other end of the screen instead of edging it over to make sure the ball hits the paddle instead of falling into the void.
The presence of Atari’s brick-breaking game evoked mixed feelings, having recently inherited 30 Atari shares that my game-loving father bought several years ago for $470. The current market price for those 30 shares is about $18, which shows how console games have almost wiped out arcade and PC games.
At any rate, for flights that are more than 10 hours, these games are bound to keep you less bored for at least a short while, and if you really get into the game, they can even get your metabolism going. Even if you don’t become absorbed in them, your fingers will at least be getting some exercise.
by Wohn Dong-hee for JoongAng Daily


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