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Rated G(angsta): UK Prisons Ban Adult-Rated Video Games

Well-behaved prisoners in England and Wales will no longer be allowed to play adult-rated video games — that means auto thieves cannot relive their crimes playing Grand Theft Auto. Bummer! Under the new system, those with kid-safe game privileges will also have to pay for the consuls and games themselves. (The games cost taxpayers £10,000, or $20,000, last year.) Officials will still permit the use of video games in cells, as a way to keep order in overcrowded prisons.

Since a booming prison population reduces resources for meaningful activities like educational classes, guards turn to PlayStation and Xbox when they want to reward inmates. Inmates at risk of suicide can play, too. Hoping to show offenders that appropriate behavior brings positive results, the reward scheme also allows for in-cell TV, more outside visitors, and the right to ditch prison garb for one's own clothes.

It would be hypocritical to allow prisoners to play video games riddled with violence and sometimes crime, characteristics of many over-18 games. But, does making well-behaving prisoners stick to kid games diminish the reward?


Join The Conversation
Nyrina-Windu Nyrina-Windu 8 years
They should not be given video games at all. They are supposed to be on punishment. Let them read and play board games more. No video games systems at all should be in any prison, anywhere.
LadyAngel89 LadyAngel89 9 years
All that is certainly more than I would give any of them.
meumitsuki meumitsuki 9 years
Prison sounds more like a respite than actual punishment. From getting 3 meals a day, time to study and get degrees, plus video games??
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
Caterpillar, I think pin the tail on the donkey is probably out as well. Musical chairs might be fun though...
bleached bleached 9 years
Jane, you took the words right out of my mouth... When I got punished, it was no TV no video games for me...
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
I would think that regular old checkers, scrabble, boggle, mousetrap, even operation would have the same effect and be hella cheaper! What other games could they play? Not Twister.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
I was thinking the same thing Jane. Isn't prison supposed to be a place of punishment and rehabilitation?
Jane26 Jane26 9 years
so why do they have video games in the first place? i still find that a bit strange.
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