A short documentary on D&D in prison

A fascinating short video.

Imagine interrupting your session an hour in to fight someone with a knife...


  • Waypoint did a whole series on games in prison. Check out their "At Play In The Carceral State" article collection here. The articles "How Inmates Play Tabletop RPGs Where Dice Are Contraband" and "Dragons in the Department of Corrections" are most relevant to the tabletop. Quote from Dragons:
    "At the trial, Captain Bruce C. Muraski, the prison's security supervisor and also the man responsible for the confiscation, attempted to justify the prison's decision. He testified that role-playing games like D&D "promote competitive hostility, violence, and addictive escape behavior, which can compromise not only the inmate's rehabilitation and effects of positive programming, but endanger the public and jeopardize the safety and security of the institution." Singer appealed the decision and six years later, it escalated to the United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit. There, Singer presented testimony to show that D&D—and roleplaying games in general—were effective tools for rehabilitating inmates, yet the appeals court upheld the ban."
    Fair warning: a lot of the stuff's political. For instance, they have quite a few articles on Gitmo, Trump, authoritarianism, etc. I'm of the view that, as games are media, they're inherently political anyways, though I recognize this forum might not be the place for that discussion.

    If anyone's interested, I found the Seventh Circuit's decision. It's heavy stuff, but considering it's American legal precedent on D&D, the arguments are worth reading in full. For instance, there's stuff on how D&D impacts players, which cuts at the heart of what story games are supposedly about.

    Side note: If you're wondering why Singer didn't appeal to the Supreme Court, they require all appeals to be printed in a specially crafted Writ of Certiorari ("cert") before the Supreme Court even considers taking the case (far from guaranteed, considering how many cases the Supreme Courts gets). As Singer was a prisoner, he wouldn't have been able to craft the cert, making him unable to appeal. And that's how the Seventh Circuit's decision on D&D was allowed to stand.
  • Wow!

    Fascinating, thank you very much.
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