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Gaming in Guantanamo bay, happiness within four confined walls

29 Jul 2017 | By Anish Chakraborty
Gaming in Guantanamo is more than it appears

I learned something today - Gitmo is apparently another word for America's most controversial prison, Guantanamo Bay.

Gitmo has always been infamous. News, movies and literature have it pegged as a hell-hole. For those in it, this doesn't matter, what matters is the loneliness that sets in after a while.

Thank god, they have video games for prisoners.

This is a story about hope.

In context: Gaming in Guantanamo is more than it appears

29 Jul 2017Gaming in Guantanamo bay, happiness within four confined walls

GamesThere are no fairy tales

When I am talking about video games, I am not talking about the latest jazzy consoles and titles out there in the market.

Luck is hard to come by in Gitmo. Previously, it was a Nintendo 64 system, a relic of gaming history. However, sometime later in the summer of 2011, it was swapped for PS3. It's old but does the job.

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Gaming to retain sanity

PrisonGaming to retain sanity

At present, the prison authorities, in there, have no plans of upgrading the PS3 anytime soon. However, they're trying to bring in more titles.

To the prisoners, this is a life saver. The Detainee Library, which houses books, DVDs and PS3 games, is all they've got.

Not all PS3 games make it here. There is a stringent screening process that weeds out disruptive content.

Harry PotterDear Hogwarts

Novelty plays a huge part. Nobody here reads Harry Potter books now. According to Wells Dixon, Senior Staff Attorney at the Centre for Constitutional Rights, they all once loved Harry Potter.

It helped many to retain their sanity during 2005-06. J.K. Rowling should be proud.

But one gets tired of reading the same thing over and over again, so then it's video games.

GitmoLittle things to be happy about

Gitmo is not a gaming hub. It's not somewhere one gets the new titles or latest consoles. It's where you turn to video games to forget that you are confined to four walls and the entire world, except a few, is forgetting you.

Gaming is one way to live with that, to survive through and to see the other side. In Gitmo, its happiness.