The 41 detainees left in Guantanamo Bay live a nightmare existence of forced feedings, legal limbo, and boredom. Their access to video games, at least, may relieve the boredom a little. With the kind of brutal absurdism typical of US policy around the facility, hunger-striking detainees even have the option of playing video games while enduring their forced feedings, as they sit shackled in a comfy chair.
Muira McCammon visited Gitmo earlier this year for Waypoint, exploring both the culture of play there and the people trying to make the facility a bit less isolating, and took pictures of the prison's sparse gaming library. According to the guards McCammon spoke with, the prison's first gaming system was a Nintendo 64 but they've since upgraded to a PS3. There are apparently no plans to move on to the PS4.
Now, thanks to Beryl Lipton over at MuckRock, we've got a complete list of the video games available to detainees at Guantanamo Bay. It's a good list, not good enough to make you forget about habeas corpus and the cruelty of indefinite detention, but pretty good.
The library has 125 PS3 titles and 162 for the Nintendo DS and includes a broad range of games. Prisoners can play through both Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy XIII-2 as well as Star Ocean: The Last Hope and Mugen Souls. Gitmo has you covered when it comes to the previous generation's JRPGs.
There's also a lot of sports games, more FIFAs and PES Soccer spinoffs than I could count. It's got eight copies of Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands and seven copies of Sonic Colors. Detainees can play through the classics Ico and Shadow of the Colossus before solving the puzzles of Portal 2 and winding down to the music of Michael Jackson: The Experience.
It's a list any typical gamer could love, full of entertaining and challenging games of all types. Unless you want to shoot someone, that is. One of the things that makes the list interesting is what it lacks. There's no Call of Duty and only one fighting game— Persona 4 Arena. The only shooter in library is 007 Legends, a bad game where players relive moments best left in the James Bond movies.
Detainees can check out 10 media items at once and share them with their cell block. Once they're done, they can exchange those movies, books, or games on a one for one basis. It's not a great library, but it beats the loose collection of board games the prison got rid of somewhere around 2008.