Court Upholds Prison Ban On Dungeons & Dragons

CHICAGO, Ill. – A Wisconsin inmate serving a life sentence for murder will not be able to play the fantasy role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons in prison.

Earlier this week, the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Kevin Singer’s contention that the prison was violating his right to free speech and due process by banning him from playing the game.


Singer, 33, was convicted of killing his sister’s boyfriend with a sledgehammer in 2002. According to the court ruling, he had been a devoted Dungeons & Dragons player since he was a child.

Officials at Waupun Correctional Institution in Wisconsin argued that Dungeons & Dragons “promotes fantasy role playing, competitive hostility, violence, addictive escape behaviors, and possible gambling,” according to the court ruling.

The appeals court ruled that the ban was reasonable and did not violate Singer’s rights. “After all, 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,” the court said.

The court’s ruling [PDF] can be viewed at the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals’ website.

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