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26 January 2010 @ 09:10 am
No D&D For Wisconsin Inmates  
Wisconsin inmate can't play Dungeons & Dragons - Seems that this inmate, down for life due to first-degree murder, has been banned form playing D&D (well, now it's everyone there, of course). An anonymous inmate complained about the inmate and 3 others forming "a gang" around playing the game, and the officials came down hard. They were told they could not keep related materials nor play because Dungeons & Dragons "promotes fantasy role playing, competitive hostility, violence, addictive escape behaviors, and possible gambling."

Now, I'm torn. On the one hand, the guy's in prison. It's not vacation fun time, it's incarceration. I hesitate to say it is punishment, because while it may be that, it's not like he can learn his lesson and do better for the future. On the other hand...seriously? Four inmates decide to play D&D. Not standing around, pumping iron, facing off against each other, raping others in the sower, rioting in the mess hall...using their minds and imagination for a mental exercise.

"Competitive hostility, violence, escape behaviors"? Are they aware that this is a prison? This is what people who are held against their will DO. They get hostile, violent, and want to escape. It's animal nature. If all these guys want to do is hang out and slay dragons, rescue innocents, and valiantly conquer impossible odds with a sword and shield...let them. Which is a biggest issue, the toughs who want to fight and run their prison fiefdoms through violence and terror, the recidivists with a revolving door on their cells, or the geeks who relax quietly in a room, telling stories to each other of fantasy worlds?

I admit, it makes me want to start a Play-By-Mail game for them.
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Chrisdeusinnomen on January 26th, 2010 05:26 pm (UTC)
Damn, that IS a punishment.

Well, no, they could make it worse. They could make them play in a D&D game with a shitty DM and a bunch of min-maxers.
Chrisclipdude on January 26th, 2010 05:42 pm (UTC)
That's a pretty dumb rationale for banning D&D. And prisoners do need to have some recreation to occupy their time. It's hard to keep people under control if they have nothing to do.
Bellybellybalt on January 26th, 2010 06:09 pm (UTC)
I wonder if this has more to do with Gamer Drama (TM) than anything else. You KNOW how regular gamers can be, and how interpersonal dynamics can be SOOOO FUN, arguments can get heated and feelings hurt. Now imagine the gamer groups is made up of incarcerated felons that can't go anywhere and join another game, or start their own (because there's probably only one set.)

Not a pretty thought.

Edited at 2010-01-26 06:10 pm (UTC)
God of Thunder and Rock'n'Rollarchmage on January 26th, 2010 06:47 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I'm sure that factors in.

If it were me, I'd argue this until I was sore, and then run games without any sort of materials. if they tried to stop that...well, good luck. They could put me in solitary, but I'd just run solo games at high volumes, occasionally getting the guards involved.
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God of Thunder and Rock'n'Rollarchmage on January 26th, 2010 07:54 pm (UTC)
Hope so. Card games and dice and such have LONG promoted gambling.
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Emil: Hagakuredawningday on January 26th, 2010 08:24 pm (UTC)
If all these guys want to do is hang out and slay dragons, rescue innocents, and valiantly conquer impossible odds with a sword and shield...let them.

Why do you assume they're playing "good" characters?
God of Thunder and Rock'n'Rollarchmage on January 26th, 2010 09:49 pm (UTC)
Hell, even if they want to be evil characters, it's still better than the alternative.
Kellykwsapphire on January 27th, 2010 12:04 pm (UTC)
Yeah I'm torn too.. I guess ultimately I'm of the camp "If you're bored and want to use your imagination, READ A BOOK." While the reason for banning D&D is utterly misguided*, they are in prison. You said it: it's not supposed to be vacation.

*I mean, I don't know if they would have said that their reason for banning the game was because the players were getting too involved/loud/violent whatever, even if that *was* the reason. Maybe not. But even if they're just banning the game because they're idiots, convicted felons don't have much in the way of rights in that regard, and I think rightly so.

But then don't get me started on the number of people who are in jail/prison who just shouldn't be.
Sandrasandra_e on January 27th, 2010 07:48 pm (UTC)
Heh. I can also say that D&D helps promote cooperation and community development, but I doubt the Wisconsin authorities would listen.

I just hate seeing any situation in which people make such blanket negative statements about gaming.
ex_leopardp on January 29th, 2010 05:30 pm (UTC)
The only thing this will prevent is the constant Orc on Elf ass rape.