NCCC Mall in Buhangin, Davao City officially opened its modern arcade gaming station last November 11 with a blessing ceremony, officiated by Fr. Dionisio Tabiliran from St. Mary of the Perpetual Rosary Parish, kicking off the event.

It was followed by LTS Malls Incorporated president Sharlene Faye Lim's official tapping of the TapNPlay button, signalling that the gaming station was officially open.

Aptly named TapNPlay, the arcade gaming station uses "tap and play" technology, the first ever in Davao City. It means avid gamers do not need game card swiping or tokens to be able to play the station’s 42 arcade machines. All they need to do is tap the card, that easy!

“We initially planned to open it (TapNPlay) next year yet, but then we thought next year is masyadong matagal pa,” Althea Lucas, associate vice-president of LTS Mall, Inc., revealed.

The game card is equipped with a unique, state-of-the-art RFID or Radio Frequency Identification, a “form of wireless communication that uses electromagnetic fields to automatically identify and track tags, which contain electronically-stored information, attached to objects.” This makes keeping track of your game records convenient. Aside from that, your earned points go straight to your cards, so there’s no more hassle of keeping that tickets or tokens to count!

NCCC Mall-Buhangin intentionally partnered with global names in the gaming industry such as Sacoa Entertainment, an Argentina-based company that pioneered in replacing the traditional tokens for a computerized magnetic debit card system, and Primetime Amusements, a US-based global operator that specializes in selling and renting of arcade machines and simulators, to provide Dabawenyos the best experience in arcade gaming.

During the opening, media practitioners, bloggers and avid gamers were invited to experience TapNPlay’s games.

Divided into several teams, they were treated to a number of arcade games, such as Walking Dead, Jurassic Park, Space Invader and many more. But the catch was it was a contest with cash and NCCC gift certificates as prizes. So the excitement was raised to the highest level!

Team Gold got the highest score and was named the champion in the Friends and Colleagues category; Gray was first-runner up; and 2nd-runner up was Black.

In the Family Category, meanwhile, Team Aquamarine was champion, followed by Blue and 2nd-runner up was Beige.

TapNPlay cards, which are reloadable, are available only at TapNPlay in NCCC Mall Buhangin.