Taking the kids out on this vacation, most of the time it becomes a complicated and expensive challenge. It took me several days to put together a plan to share with my son that would leave out the intensity of the sun, the elbow to elbow of urban transportation and that would combine with the monetary deposits in my wallet, updated monthly. Then the memory of the Gaming Center encouraged me to plan a visit.
Las Tunas, Cuba.- We arrived a little after 10:00 in the morning. Inside there were only a few teenagers installed in the four computers and absorbed in their combat games. The person in charge, on behalf of the Tunas 2 Computer and Electronic Club, received us with courtesy and when we asked for a tablet to rent he pointed out that now the offer is of smartphones at 2.00 pesos an hour.
For my little one, tablet or cell phone does not make much difference, so ipso facto he grabbed the device and began to scrutinize all the content, eager to find new games, and I must say that he was not very lucky, but he still spent more than an hour imbued with the charms of the digital age.
In all that time I was thinking about the place I had visited before, several times, and that now it didn't seem like the same scenario. I settled down in a kind of armchairs dressed with cushions of various colors and had to change places three times because they were soaked.
Looking for signs of water, I noticed the wet walls, including the decorations, which had leaked, perhaps because of the rain of the last few days. In some corners, there were still small puddles and the bottom of the curtains were visibly wet and dirty.
I remembered the inauguration of the Gaming Center just two years earlier, on July 26th, and it came to my mind that as soon as I crossed the threshold I was enchanted by the place, comfortable, modern, at the height of the demands of children and young people. The diminished image of now, with the intense smell of mold or humidity, made me question the waste of resources that strides to the detriment of all.
The sidewalks where the computer users, usually teenagers and young adults, sit show some crooked legs; in fact, I saw an excited boy with the screen crashing to the floor and at lightning speed picking up the defective seat, rearranging it a bit and continuing with his combat routines.
The big console, which provides a pleasant air conditioning to the room, shows a part of its plastic structure torn and hanging. Anyway, in only two years, not only more than 20 tablets were disabled, but the installation in general cries out for a complete overhaul, and I wonder, in the quarantine stage, ideal for general maintenance, how nobody thought of the Gaming Center.
In keeping with the atmosphere, the local cafeteria was closed passed noon. Not only were there no offers, but also no one behind the counter. I heard a lady complaining about the lack of drinks, in a place that should be prioritized, and she concluded that “it was all because the room is state-run, and there is no sense of belonging or the imperative of profitability; if it were owned by a private person, another rooster would crow.”
Certainly, the lady knew what she was talking about and I had to agree with her remarks. In my previous visits, with my little one, we did not only look for the availability of electronic devices, which we also have at home, but also for the pleasant, heterogeneous environment, which favors interaction between children of different characters. There are not many places like this in Las Tunas, the Gaming Center is a project to take care of.
Around noon we said goodbye to the video games, but the evocations lasted all the way home. I remembered that I wrote a review about the opening of the game room, two years before, inviting the families of Las Tunas. I hope these lines serve as a reminder of the need to keep the place alive, and ready to meet the demands of the very peculiar public that adorns its surroundings.