Early this week, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit rejected the claims in a lawsuit that challenged a ban on Dungeons and Dragons by the Waupun Correctional Institution in Wisconsin.
The law suit was brought by prisoner Kevin T. Singer, arguing that the First and 14th amendment were violated by the prison’s decision to ban DnD. With the decision also came the confiscation of his books, a 96-page manuscript he wrote, and additional materials.
The basis which the prison determined that they could slight of hand Mr. Singer was based off a recommendation of the prison’s specialist on gangs. Citing that “it could lead to gang behavior and fantasies about escape” and could “foster an inmate’s obsession with escaping from the real-life correctional environment, fostering hostility, violence and escape behavior.”
Mr. Singer, who had been a DnD player since childhood, was sentenced to life in prison in 2002 for bludgeoning and ultimately stabbing his sister’s boyfriend to death (after discovering the victim possessed bludgeoning damage resistance).
The real kicker is the court acknowledged that there was no evidence of gangs acting destructively due to playing DnD, but still ruled the prison’s decision legitimate.
The irony behind all of this is that the origins of DnD stem from Wisconsin…