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A good read on the pirates of Khadda market
Image description: Photo of Khadda market in Karachi, showing a group of electronics stores with motorbikes and cars parked in front of them. The photo was taken at night. Photo Credit: Youtube Video Thumbnail by Shehroz Ahmed
Oof this piece made me feel nostalgic and was such a delightful piece to read.
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Pirates of Khadda Market by Sarim Abbas, for The Verge.
“Perhaps it was the fact that most of the games from Khadda only cost a few hundred rupees (about $1). Or maybe it was how Shadow of Rome would glitch right at the moment we subdued a certain Senate guard or perhaps the times we would be left scratching our heads as we were booted into a murky cuboidal landscape — the infamous Red Screen of Death you’d see when the PS2 would refuse to read a disc. Whatever the reason, it dawned on us that there was something amiss with our games. By the age of 10, I had realized the truth: they were pirated.
But these were small inconveniences to pay for the great reward of having an affordable, unlimited library at our fingertips. Did we really need to resolve Agrippa’s tale if we could just live out another? Every month or so, while our parents ran errands, my brother and I browsed the racks at Game Ocean, stroking our chins, figuring out what to play next. “Yeh acha game hai,” the young shopkeeper would say, encouraging me to buy whichever title I was appraising. Noticing my fingertips barely brushing the top shelf, my brother would kindly give me a lift. As I grabbed my game, I would sometimes peer at a dusty, locked display case. There, in gleaming hard-plastic cases, lived the handful of actually legitimate games the shop offered but none cared to buy.”
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