Popular ’60s game making comeback as alternative to digital entertainment

Local News

(WKBN) – It’s a game that was big in the 1960s — slot car racing has made a comeback during the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s an alternative for families to take a break from screen time.

During the height of COVID-19, kids spent a lot of time on their tablets or other devices.

According to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, kids ages 8-18 in the U.S. spent an average of 4.5-6.5 hours a day watching or using screens.

Officials say, along with sleep and mood problems, excessive screen time sucks kids into an antisocial, digital world while pulling them away from valuable time with family and friends.

So, to combat the pandemic boredom, families have turned to slot car racing.

“So what do you do when you are stuck at home? You’re trying to get away from the computer screens, TV screen, iPads, laptops, whatever and try to find something to do with your kids, with your grandkids,” said Frank Tiessen, president of Carrera Revell of Americas, a leading company within the slot car racing world.

He says it’s a game that continues to bring families together and it keeps evolving. You can pick so many different cars that could look like your favorite character and put together so many different tracks. The possibilities are endless.

“In the ’60s and ’70s, the technology was not that great so it was a little bit more difficult at that time. Now, it’s just a simple clip. So you can build really fairly extensive tracks in a couple of minutes,” Tiessen said.

During the pandemic, people had to take a step back from everyday life and find the joy in the small things again.

Tiessen says slot car racing is a form of nostalgia that takes families back to a different time.

“So what does every human do in bad times? Remembering good times, and slot car racing is maybe a little bit of [a] part of that. Remembering the good ole days, which is nothing bad,” Tiessen said.

If you want to get in on the fun, you can purchase them at retail stores and online.

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