I remember playing Dungeons and Dragons as a kid. Staying up until the sun rose, battling orcs and ogres, building up our characters … ah, that was the life. I also remember how the Christian community attacked Dungeons and Dragons labeling it as Satan’s Game.
Quite some time back, I remember hearing about how Dungeons and Dragons was banned in a Wisconsin Prison. I didn’t think too much of it, passing it off as another religious attempt at tarnishing the image of Dungeons and Dragons. However, it turns out that this isn’t the case.
More from Slashdot:
In a case that has been winding its way through the courts for a while now, a Wisconsin prison banned inmates from playing Dungeons & Dragons, using the justification that ‘one player is denoted the Dungeon Master… [who] is tasked with giving directions to other players… [which] mimics the organization of a gang.’ The prison also cited some sparse evidence that a handful of non-inmate D&D players once committed some crimes that allegedly were related to their D&D playing. On Monday the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the regulation (PDF) against challenges from inmates. The court appeared skeptical of the ban, sarcastically referring to it as the ‘war on D&D,’ but upheld it nonetheless as having a ‘rational basis.’ Law professor Ilya Somin suggests that the court may have had no choice, given how deferential rational-basis review usually is.
Searching around online, I found a little more info:
A convicted murderer serving life in prison in Wisconsin has lost his legal battle to play Dungeons and Dragons behind bars.
Kevin T Singer filed a lawsuit against officials at Wisconsin’s Waupun prison after a policy was initiated in 2004 to eradicate all Dungeons and Dragons game materials among concerns that playing it promotes gang-related activity.
Singer, 33, is a devoted player of the fantasy role-playing game that involves recruiting others to play as a group.
He argued that his First Amendment rights were being violated and demanded that Dungeons and Dragons material confiscated from his cell be returned.
But the 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the prison’s policy was reasonable.
So, it seems, at least on the surface, that Dungeons and Dragons isn’t so much a cult game, but a gang game? I have heard some ridiculous crap go through the courts, but this one is just out there. How is it that Dungeons and Dragons encourages gang activity, but actual gangs in the prison system are aloud to roam free? Hypocrisy, or just lunacy?
Say what you will, I am sure that Christianity has its role to play in all of this.