Back in the states, an appeals court has ruled that the 1st amendment does not cover the right to play D&D in the big house.
See the story here.
According to the NY Times "Prison officials said they had banned the game at the recommendation of the prison’s specialist on gangs, who said it could lead to gang behavior and fantasies about escape."
The prison's specialist. On gangs.
Does this specialist have his head inside an Umber Hulk? On what fucking planet is he on that he thinks that tossing D20s across the canteen table is going to encourage gang activity?!
In the fantasies about escape sense that's probably correct. But then, as the article goes on to point out, so can reading the Count of Monte Cristo or indeed any literature, or watching any movie, that features the archetype story element of escape.
People have hung shit on D&D and gamers for years. That pen and paper gamers were weird nerdy dudes with limited social skills and an inability to park it in the hymen. Okay, sure, as far as the ladies are concerned, maybe the gaming thing is a minus. But does it lead to criminality? No it does not.
In the 80's there was a rash of gamer fear, that this new sensation sweeping the nation was going to make intelligent teens satanists or commit suicide. Some woman, whose poor child killed themselves, even started up a Lobby group called Bothered About Dungeon's and Dragons (or BADD, gettit?!), got herself a PI's license, and started a new career talking to law enforcement about this insidious evil that somehow made teens better at maths and take an interest in history. Her methodology and evidence was later destroyed by a careful analysis of her mumbo jumbo jiggery pokery.
From what I have read pen and paper gamers, broadly in relation to general population are more intelligent, better educated, have better jobs and, most importantly for the fucking Helen Lovejoys out there such as at Wisconsin Dept of Corrections, have less tendency to off themselves.
I was outraged enough to ping a missive to said Jailhouse un-rockers about my distaste for their ill-informed decision. Naturally, it got bounced.
I suspect I am not the only nerdy pen and paper gamer to feel this way and attempt to email WDC to say so.
The sentence, the deprivation of liberty, is the punishment. Don't take the man's books and dice as well. Besides, he's in for life. Where's he going to go to? Playing D&D makes him happier, likely a better prisoner, and doesn't hurt anyone.
Oh well, I suppose one person is hurt by all this ... the reputation of Wisconsin's gang expert, who is being torn a professional new one by e-land as I type.
PS Wisconsin Dept of Corrections ... D&D got its start in your fine state and likely injected tens of millions of dollars into your economy. The makers of Napoleon Dynamite got an official Idaho statehouse thanks for their role in promoting their state. Where's D&D's recognition? Wisconsin should have a giant D20 with an animatronic Gygax popping out of the 20 pip, Rowan and Martin's Laugh in style.
You bet your sweet bippy.
UPDATE: I tweaked this post a bit for typos and changed the title. It won't affect the URL.