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To Play Games Online, Gamers In Cuba Made Their Very Own Underground Network

And the police are relatively fine with it


Cuba is a country known with its socialist rule, though times are changing as more rules are being more lenient. There is now a state-run wifi hotspots enabling Cubans to connect to the internet. Albeit with a slow speed and your browsing history being closely monitored by the government. And that’s not enough to play online games.

However, that has not stopped the community to run their very own underground network to enable online games via LAN. In fact, they have established their community run intranet for online gaming, and more.

The latest video by travel documentary YouTube channel Cloth Map investigates the ingenuity of Cuban gamers on running this network, dubbed SNET, run entirely by the community. It’s basically a LAN connection that has grown to upward of 20,000 users, operated not for profit, but for the fun of games.

Any person can join a nearby ‘node’ where it can connect 50 users, all linked to the SNET. Should none is available one can purchase the equipment to extend the node to their homes, which will also allow more users to join in as well.

Games including World Of Warcraft, Call Of Duty, Dota and football games- namely FIFA and PES, are played on SNET, with admins ensuring cheaters get banned. Due to the slow download speeds from regular internet access, Cuban gamers copy games from each other when a one of them has access to a new game.

The more interesting part is how all this info is now being made public. Despite operating in rather shady terms, Cloth Map had the permission to publicise this info. Throughout the documentary, there are several examples of how the policing of laws in Cuba are a bit lenient in some aspects, allowing SNET, and the services it provides to the network users, to thrive.

It’s a fascinating watch-worthy of your 20 minutes, and it shows that you could do a lot of good things when you’re passionate about helping others. With the service of SNET being free to use for the most part, it ironically reflects the socialist values of the country in some ways.

Cloth Map has been “exploring the world through the lense of games” and you can find them here.