The Cuban State: Protecting the Youth or Protecting its Interests?
December 26, 2013
Kabir Vega Castellanos
HAVANA TIMES — Some time ago, the Cuban media announced that all
video-game and 3D home theatre locales were being shut down.
The main argument used was that the licenses which had been granted the
owners of private establishments did not afford them the right to
operate the locales for such purposes and that said places (videogame
centers in particular) led to an atmosphere of frivolity and bad habits.
In connection with 3D theatres, people on the street even spoke of
rumors that pornographic materials or films critical of the government
were being exhibited there.
This last rumor strikes me as unlikely. Those locales were open to the
public and, among the minors or adults who frequented them, a State
inspector could have easily gone in.
Anyone who's made an investment will try and protect it. This is why
those who sell weekly show packages downloaded from the Internet make a
point of including a note in their promotional flyers which reads: "No
pornographic or subversive materials included."
A few weeks after these events, which proved traumatic for investors and
customers alike, the Cuban press ran an article promoting a "national
DOTA (strategy game) tournament" which was to be held at computer clubs
in the country.
This was a rather surprising bit of news. I have never seen a State
locale with more than six computers connected to a Local Area Network.
Computers at these clubs aren't well maintained and I've seen that the
Microsoft Power Point courses offered there use extremely old software.
I doubt DOTA 2 will run in any of these computers, not even with the
graphics set to the minimum resolution.
The news is even more surprising if we recall that the police have been
known to cut the cables that many people use to set up a neighborhood
network (having no wireless network they can use) in order to play this
Curiously enough, some weeks later, a news article showered 3D cinema
with praise, calling the experience it affords "intense." The article
commented on each and every one of the magnificent features of this
virtual world while trying to avoid sounding like capitalist advertising.
As way of a conclusion, it announced that 3D theaters managed by the
Cuban Film Art and Industry Institute (ICAIC) were already operational.
They shut down game and 3D theatre locales to protect young people from
vice and then organized a national DOTA tournament. Are they saying that
the same game, when played with State authorization, doesn't lead to
frivolity and addiction?
Are 3D films harmful when shown by the self-employed and intense and
beneficial when screened by the State?
It's clear they don't want Cubans to be financially independent, but, at
the very least, they should use less ridiculous arguments.
Source: The Cuban State: Protecting the Youth or Protecting its
Interests? - Havana Times.org - http://www.havanatimes.org/?p=100835
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