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Friday, December 03, 2004

News: No GTA for Convicts? 

Prisoners at maximum-security centers in Missouri will no longer be allowed to play violent video games.

The Star reported Thursday the state's new maximum-security prison pulled dozens of violent Sony PlayStation 2 games from its recreation center on Wednesday, after officials were alerted to their content by a reporter. Inmates had been using them for months.

In fact, the prison's PlayStation offerings included one of the most violent games on the market, "Hitman: Contracts," in which players use everything from meat hooks to silencer-equipped pistols to carry out brutal contract killings.

In all, 35 of the facility's more than 80 games were removed. Others remain, including science fiction and sports games.
My initial reaction this story was to ask: why are inmates playing video games anyway? It turns out that the games were purchased from prisoner-created proceeds at the canteen, so at least the state isn't footing the bill. The more I think about it, though, I don't think I care where the games came from. Inmates don't deserve state-of-the-art entertainment. They don't deserve fun diversions that take their minds away from the heinous crimes that landed them in maximum-security lock-up.

Pump iron. Read books. Make license plates. Think about how you can make an actual contribution to society if and when you get released.

Besides, if prison officials think that merely removing the violent games will curb potential violent behavior, then they underestimate the affects of most sports titles. I recall many a heated situation arising over Madden Football back in college, and my friends and I weren't legitimately homicidal.

(Link via WorldMagBlog)


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