Noting that "punishment is a fundamental aspect of imprisonment, and prisons may choose to punish inmates by preventing them from participating in some of their favorite recreations," a 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a ban the playing of Dungeons and Dragons by a US prison inmate serving life for first-degree murder:
Singer, 33, has been a devoted player of the fantasy role-playing game since he was a child, according to the court ruling. After the ban went into effect, prison officials confiscated dozens of Dungeons & Dragons books and magazines in his cell as well as a 96-page manuscript he had written detailing a potential scenario for the game that players could act out.
Game over: Wisconsin inmate can't play Dungeons & Dragons
Prison officials enacted the ban in 2004 after an inmate sent an anonymous letter expressing concern about Singer and three other inmates forming a "gang" focused around playing the game.
Singer was told by prison officials that he could not keep the materials because
Dungeons & Dragons "promotes fantasy role playing, competitive hostility, violence, addictive escape behaviors, and possible gambling," according to the ruling. The prison later developed a more comprehensive policy against all types of fantasy games, the court said.
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