Please allow me to interrupt a slow news day with tales of piracy from the True Caribbean, as locals call it. I was recently in Scarborough, Tobago with some friends and noticed this haunting sign plastered on a sign post. It reads "Three PlayStation 2 games for $120". It sounds about right in US dollars but this is Trini currency, which exchanges at roughly 1/6 of American dollars. If you do the math ($120 divided $6 then divided by 3 games) those PS2 games would run you about $6.50 US a pop. I don't think Sony is being generous to developing countries!
Sure enough, small strip malls largely carry burned games and there's little or no sign of Wii, 360, and PS3 systems. Are the locals aware that newer games are available, and do they care? One prominent shop keeper near the airport barely understood my question. "Games aren't that popular here -- maybe in 5-7 years."
Back in Port of Spain, Trinidad the scene is a little different. One source who wished to remain anonymous said "A few people have those newer things, but nobody buys games retail here (chomps on Doubles, beans frothing everywhere) mwhahuhgm ummm uy kiiidfs yum uhmm slurp (*enthusiastic fingerlicks*) most games come from South America that's a few miles off the coast and the young people mostly trade old games anyway". As we drove around I couldn't find a game shop anywhere. KFC, however, was at every other corner!
While I'm sure that the ministry doesn't condone it, they probably have bigger fish to fry. I suppose if we all had the choice of Halo's or parading in the streets drunk with energetic half-naked women for three months in the year even hardcore dorks might game a little less.
I had little chance in hell that these people would read Destructoid so for the rest of my trip I shut my mouth and ate my shark bake, soaking in the mountains and rum.
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