No Dungeons & Dragons in Prison: Court

Prisons worry fantasy game could foster gang-like behavior
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 26, 2010 3:30 PM CST
Miniature figures used in the Dungeons and Dragons roleplaying game.   (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
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(Newser) – An avid Dungeons & Dragons enthusiast had his dreams of playing the fantasy game behind bars dashed by an appeals court today. Kevin Singer, in prison for life for murder, had argued that being forbidden to play violated his rights under the 1st and 14th amendments. The Wisconsin prison system banned the game after an anonymous inmate sent a letter warning that Singer and others had formed a "gang" based on it, notes the Above the Law blog.

The court agreed with prison officials who argued that the game could “foster an inmate’s obsession with escaping from the real-life correctional environment, fostering hostility, violence and escape behavior," the New York Times reports. Legal scholars in the blogosphere—perhaps channeling their inner nerd—have argued that there's little evidence of bad behavior influenced by D&D. “If more inmates were über-nerdy D&D players, life would be good,” opined one Colorado lawyer.

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