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In Cantonese, 打机 is used colloquially to refer to playing video or computer games. Where does the expression/word come from, and is it also used in Mandarin? If not, what is a similar Mandarin expression?

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In the Mainland China, we say"打游戏", more information about the"打機" can be found here: http://evchk.wikia.com/wiki/打機

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I can only answer the mandarin part, we never say 打机 in Mandarin. But we will say

打游戏 玩游戏 打电动 玩电脑 打电玩

And 打机 looks like 打飞机...which is kind of weird and embarrassing.

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