An inmate of Wisconsin's Waupun prison has lost his legal battle to play Dungeons and Dragons behind bars.
Apparently, the ban against the world's nerdiest pastime was imposed because prison officials were concerned that the game promotes gang-related activity and could be a threat to security.
Okay. A few things....
Back in my day, the worry was that D&D promoted Satanism. Glad to see that we've moved on and that had nothing to do with this ruling.
But "gang-related activity"? First of all, the game doesn't promote gangs, they're called "adventuring parties." Way to make yourself look stupid, Waupun prison officials.
Frankly, I think the only gang-related activity they should be worried about are all the pantsings being doled out to D&D boy by prison gangs.
Second, shouldn't the prison officials be happy to see their inmates playing D&D? Isn't that better than them doing drugs? Or making shivs in the metal shop? Afterall, a ruling like this is just going to drive the trade in D&D paraphernalia underground. And, how many cigarettes does a d20 go for these days, anyway?
One argument advanced in defense of the ruling is that part of the justice system is punishment and taking away a prisoner's access to a preferred hobby is part of that punishment. But you know, if you don't let prisoners have any hobbies and expect them to do nothing but stare at the walls in penitence, you really haven't thought through this whole "imprisoning people for life" concept. Take away everything that helps these guys pass the time and, you know, keeps the human and you're just asking for riots.
UPDATE JAN 28: Damn. Damn. Damn. I just today realized what the title for this post should have been: "Prisoner Fails Save Versus The Man"