Thursday, January 28, 2010


I get that we're a gaming community. I understand that.

I also understand that, as a community, we feel the need to come to the aid of any gamer who might be treated unfairly.

That's only right.

Thus, it was with great vigor that our many peoples came to the defense of a poor man deprived of his one love: Dungeons and Dragons.

Short version: Guy is in prison. Prison bans D&D. Internet esplodes.

Are we all up to speed?


Several video game news sites picked up on this story and ran with it. Oh, this poor, mistreated man having his beloved game taken away from him.

It was enough to spark an outrage.

Or, at least, several angry comments.

All caps, too. They mean business.

And, honestly, if you read some of the news stories, you start to feel bad for the guy. He's stuck in prison with nothing else to do and he wants to play a table top dice game. Sad, right?

Very sad.

Until you remember one funny point:


Jesus, people. What the hell is the matter with some of you? We're supposed to feel bad for this guy because they won't let him play D&D?

He killed people.

With a sledgehammer.


Suddenly, I don't really give a shit if he's allowed to play games or not. You pretty much give that up the day you decide to remodel someone's face with a sledgehammer.

We don't let the guy run around outside the building.

We don't let the guy order in pizza or hookers or anything.

Why the hell would we let him play D & MotherF&%@in' D?

Yeah, sure. He's a person and all that. He has basic human rights that are afforded to everyone no matter what they've done.

Things like air.

And food.

Maybe water.

Among those rights, I don't see the words "Oh, and make sure he can play D&D anytime he wants."

We're under no obligation, legal or moral, to let this guy play games at his leisure.

This ain't Andy Freakin' Dufresne fighting against the corruption in Shawshank. He murdered someone in the face with a sledgehammer.


No games.

See, we afford those privileges to people who DON'T kill other people with sledgehammers.

Do you see the distinction? I know it's subtle, but it's an important one.

Wait... Can you even use two-handed hammers in D&D?

... I'm probably going to hell for that one.


At 10:48 PM, Blogger Strings said...

Not allowing him D&D doesn't bother me per se. What bothers me about it is their logic: "because it fosters a gang atmosphere".

Honestly, I'd think D&D would be one of the LEAST of their concerns on that one. But what do I know?

At 11:01 PM, Blogger Ben said...

Maybe they should let him play with class restrictions. Obviously playing as a half-orc barbarian for too long caused some bad side effects. Let him play as a halfling- wait no, then he'll go thieving... let him play as a gnome- wait, er, then he might start to develop a desire to dig holes.

Um... elven cleric? Ah no... clerics use hammers too...

Yeah DnD just isn't a good idea for the guy.

At 1:34 AM, Blogger Lekal said...

Clearly it wasn't a sledgehammer, but a Heavy Mace +5

At 1:54 AM, Blogger Cody Davies said...

I think people are more annoyed at the reasoning behind it - people aren't angry that a criminal can't play D&D, they're angry that D&D is being considered a criminal activity. :3

At 6:45 AM, Blogger Mike Ridley said...

All good points, GM Dave, but...

Doesn't the entire premise of your blog consist of an angry gamer who jokes about sending bombs to people's houses and stuff?

I mean, we know it's all in good fun and whatnot, but railing against someone who pretty much did what you joke about doing on a weekly basis seems...strange.

Not wrong. Not innappropriate. Just strange.

At 6:52 AM, Blogger Cidolfas said...

Er... Mike, you do know the meaning of the word "joke", do you not? The point is that Dave, in real life, does not actually go to people's houses and bomb them, because that would be psychotic and he would deserve to be put in jail for it. He jokes about it because it's cathartic and fun.


At 8:14 AM, Blogger Soren said...

Taking a sledgehammer to someone's face denies you all privileges. End of story.

At 9:31 AM, Blogger JohnLedbetter said...

"He murdered someone in the face with a sledgehammer."
That sentence made my day.

At 9:58 AM, Blogger David said...


The reason it "fosters a gang atmosphere" is that they have dice. Dice are typically considered contraband inside the prison system.

It can lead to gambling. Which is considered by the correction system as being a gang related activity.

At 10:12 AM, Blogger Salt said...

I agree with Cody.

I mean, wow, it's back in fashion to pick on D&D again?

And for most part the reason given is bullshit.
"because it fosters a gang atmosphere", seriously?

They shouldn't be allowed to play chess too I suppose, it foster a aggressive dominating behavior. /rolleyes

Basketball fosters a gang behavior too.

Most of those dirtbags probably deserve to be in there, but come on...

At 12:33 PM, Blogger Blueyez said...

Nope, I'm with Dave on this one. If you're in prison for murder you've given up any rights you may have had. I don't care if you have nothing else to do but stare at a wall all day. No D&D for you.

At 3:53 PM, Blogger Jakk Frost said...

Apparently the whole idea is that the DM telling all the players what to do too closely resembles gang behaviour, in that the gang leader tells his gang members what to do.

I can just see the prison LARP riots that could break out from that...

"Lightning bolt, lightning bolt!"

"Shiv, shiv!"

At 8:31 PM, Blogger Daniel said...

"Clearly it wasn't a slegdehammer, but a Heavy Mace +5"

@ Lekal

As to the prison guy, who cares? He's in jail, you're lucky to get anything in prison. He did stupid shit to get there, now he has to suck it up and enjoy the pitiful life he has remaining.

At 12:31 PM, Blogger Music-chan said...

This sort of reminds me what Tycho from Penny Arcade said on the subject too. The end of his little blurb about it he mentions the sledgehammer thing and says how his sympathy for the guy drops to nothing.

Personally, I don't think this is about D&D or even about whether it's considered criminal. It's about how prisoners interact with things such a games (of any sort) and how they may or may not abuse it. The problem is BECAUSE it's D&D, all the fans of the game suddenly make it a THING.

It's not a THING. It's not about D&D. It's about keeping a bad man from increasing his bad habits while in jail.

At 2:15 PM, Blogger Caramis said...

well, i was in prison for a bit.. 4 years to be exact, never murdered anyone in the face with anything though.

yeah i played D&D in there.. they wouldn't allow me to have dice but i could order any books i wanted from TSR (before WoTC took over).

got around the dice thing by making spinners. like used in most board games. i tried to get them to allow me to have an electronic dice roller but that got shot down..

my question though is this: was the guy he murdered in the face with a sledgehammer his old DM? if so i can totally understand and he should be forgiven.. god knows ive had a few DM's the thought of hammer to the face came to mind a time or two.

At 3:33 AM, Blogger Strings said...

"The reason it "fosters a gang atmosphere" is that they have dice. Dice are typically considered contraband inside the prison system.

It can lead to gambling. Which is considered by the correction system as being a gang related activity."

As has been mentioned, almost anything can be viewed in the same light.

Now, if they simply said "we're not allowing prisoners games", I'd be fine with that...

At 1:15 PM, Blogger heartlessgamer said...


Bravo sir, bravo.

At 5:58 AM, Blogger Mike Ridley said...


Yes, I know the meaning of the word joke. Your point is not my point: I'm aware of the difference between joking about bombing and hitting a guy in the face with a sledgehammer.

What I was trying to say was that the post felt almost-but-not-quite-like biting the hand that feeds you.

To me, at least.

At 11:02 AM, Blogger Hylian said...

you murdered a guy with a sledgehammer...

i have no remorse for this guy. the guy should be forced to push the wheel of pain or whatever from conan the barbarian. no sympathy for prisoners. period.

i'll paraphrase dave on this... cuz i know i'll get it wrong: "we made rules that protect the safety and comfort of our community. you chose to break those rules. Therefore, you have no leg to stand on when we mercilessly carry out the punishment called for, which may or may not involve the digestion system of a dragon!"

It's no different on ffxi than it is in real life. you broke the rules. period. and in this case, you REALLY broke the rules. you're whining about "no DnD"? ok boys, this prisoner is getting a bit too comfortable here. this isn't a vacation. suffer.

Do a google search on "pink prison uniforms" to see a warden who's got the right attitude.

At 9:54 PM, Blogger Mil'bereth said...

I think the real problem is that this guy used a sledgehammer to kill someone and he's still alive? WTF are the other prisoners doing?

Instead of him being dead, we have to pay taxes to keep him alive, and fed for the rest of his life!?

Do us all a favor and someone roll a 20 on casting Oblivion on this guy!

There are only two possibilites for fukheads like this guy
1. Death
2. Forced slave labor for the rest of their life.

(not the cushy crapy like picking up trash on the side of the road, but stuff like manditory military service for the term of their sentence in a combat red zone!)

At 10:43 AM, Blogger srlf2006 said...

Lmao I love stories about convicted criminals whining about not getting to do anything. I agree Dave. As for "It fosters a gang atmosphere" thingy ma bobber, lol. Considering that wanting to kill/hurt anyone is a chemical imbalance, I dont think letting them have play a game will make them turn bad/ start/join gangs. Not that I think they have certain rights, but I dont know make them do crafts with elmers glue or something to keep them silent. lol Since law doesn't allow for gags and corks. >.< Or something along the lines if I'm understanding what was said. @_@


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