Back in the 1960s when I was still a kid, we did not have expensive games. Game Boy was not invented yet and don’t talk about smart-phones in that era.
The games I played were simple and inexpensive.
- Marble games (Pa Goli)
Marbles could be the colourful glass marbles or the big opaque marbles (Tua Goli). There were rules to play these games. Essentially, we would try to hit another marble with our own to decide on the winner or to win over other people’s marble.
- Flying Kites
I knew how to make kites with tracing paper and twigs. We could draw pictures with colour pencils on the tracing paper. To fly the kite, we attach a string to it. In order to make our string tougher, I would coat the string with starch and let it dry. Sometimes we would fly our kites in the sky and tried to cut each other’s strings. The loser would see his kite flew away.
- Kuti Kuti
These are small clear plastic figurines of insects, fishes and others. The game is to use your fingers to flick your own figurine to land on top of another’s figurine. You then take your opponent’s over as your own. The idea is to amass as many as possible. I remember I was quite good at this game with dexterity of my hand.
- Fighting spiders
I used to catch black spiders from bushes and plants. I then kept it in a matchstick box. To keep the spider alive, I would place a leaf in the box. I would then match my spider with another into a fight. The losing spider often would retreat and move away from the fight. (Now I felt I was cruel and should not have cause harm to this harmless insects.)
- Bottle cap spinning
We would collect bottle cap after opening a bottle of Sarsi drink. This cap was made of metal. I would flatten the bottle cap by using a hammer to knock it flat. The edge of the cap must be knocked until it is very thin all round the circumference. I then punctured two holes close to the centre of the bottle cap. The idea was to pull through 2 strings through the holes, one string through one hole. The two strings were tied at both ends. From this contraption, I could spin the bottle cap forward and backward by pulling and letting loose the strings. I then challenged someone to cut through the strings of the other player. (I always felt that this was a dangerous game as the bottle cap could fly out and hurt someone, but I still played the game.)
- Hantam Bola
You play this game with a small rubber ball the size of a tennis ball. Whoever has the chance to pick the ball in the field, he would then hurl the ball at another person with such force and it hurts. I remember playing this game in my primary school during recess one day. I returned home with blue black and swollen left eye (or was it right eye)!
- Shooting Lalang
Lalang fields were common then. You need to take a blade of lalang. You then tear both sides of the leaf halfway leaving the central vein intact. Slip both torn parts of the leaf through two fingers of one hand. With the other hand, pull down fast the broken parts of the leaf and keeping the other hand steady. The central vein became a projectile flying forward.
- Shooting bullets
Not the gun and bullets kind, but we used paper bullets to shoot at each other. Instead of guns, we used a rubber band and hooked it round the thumb and index finger to propel the paper bullet. The paper bullet was made of small pieces of papers formed into a V shape. You then hold the paper bullet on the rubber band and draw back the rubber band until it is taut. You then release the rubber band together with the bullet and the bullet becomes a projectile. It was painful when you were hit directly with the compact paper bullet. This was how we played Police-and-Thief game complete with shootouts in the house.
9. Other games played include Capteh, Top Spinning, 5 stones, Hopscotch, Hide-and-Seek, playing cards, Happy Families card game, board games like Chinese Chess, draughts or checkers, snakes and ladders.