Tops, Marbles, and Much More; Childood Games in Cusco

Children today play virtual games the most. They go to local internet businesses sit down and enter worlds created online or simply on the screen. They leave behind the famous, and now forgotten, games that typified childhood in Cusco before the arrival of the internet.

I remember some years ago that at school and in the neighborhoods people played really fun games such as tops, marbles, “mata gente” (kill people), hide and go seek, “chapa chapa”, “ñocos”, and many more. These games were a lot of fun and made people happy. That is why they were played so commonly.

You could say that marbles (we call them tiros) and tops (trompos) were the most popular games for children. You just needed to find a little flat ground in order to play. Of all the boys who played, and they were almost all boys, only a few were known as the best. They would always win. We called those kids capos.

On the other both boys and girls would play hand hide and go seek (escondidas), “chapa chapa”, and mata gente”. In these games agility and skill were what mattered. For example, in “chapa chapa” several people would play; the game consisted of choosing a person to begin the game. He had to go running to catch his “prisoners”. The people who are so called also had to run, faster than the other so they would not be caught. All you had to do was touch them for them to be chapado, or caught, that is to say trapped. The fastest and most agile persons were the winners. During the game, however, they were not the only people having fun. Everyone tended to have a great time and show it with laughter, shouts, and spills.

By playing these games you could interact freely with other people and obtain new friends with who you could play.

Virtual Games in Cusco
Virtual Games in Cusco

While writing this article I remembered all the games I used to play with the people around me. How can I forget those wonderful memories from playing these games with my friends.

Unfortunately, children do not practice theses games as they once did. The internet has taken over and that is now where children have fun.


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