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.
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.
(Image: Wulfgar on his warhorse, a Creative Commons Attribution photo from Benimoto's photostream)
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