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Subject: Board Games in prison rss

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The all-seeing, all-knowing, all-trollin' Mike Hutton
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A Leisure Time Supervisor and I were talking about starting a board game club at the prison where he works.....we were looking for suggestions for games taking into consideration

1) cost-effective (hoping to find a place with cheap prices/ donationated games)

2) little to no dice (cant have a game of craps breaking out)

3) little to no real-life violence (road kill rally, blood fued in NY would be out probably)

a chess club (with monthly swiss tourneys or ladder play) would be pretty cheap


same with card tournaments & dominoes, but those are prison staples andamlooking to offer a lil more than the same-old same-old


looking for recommendations for games & how to get some copies donated


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Kai Bettzieche
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Things to play while locked away

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Domenic
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I'm better at finding logic flaws than creative solutions, but maybe by responding to this you'll help answer your question:

To be cheap, you need something mass produced. Like chess, checkers, standard playing cards, or Monopoly, Risk, etc.

If you can't have dice, you have to eliminate the cheap board games, which puts you back to chess, checkers, and cards.

You've already said that chess, checkers, and cards are "staples" and you were looking for something new.

Ergo, there's no solution for the problem you pose.

If you think that you're actually dealing with a bunch of gamers who would enjoy learning and exploring different rulesets, what you want is to use variant rules on chess and cards. Hoyle's has a huge list of card games, and there are many many chess variants.
 
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I have shrinkwrapped copies of the Mille Bornes Collector's Edition and Tiki Topple.

Ask your friend to pick one and I'll donate it for the game club.

Zap me a GeekMail.
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Aron Clark
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How about Tichu? Standard card deck with 4 jokers marked for Sparrow, Dog, Pheonix & Dragon.

Print & Play stuff should be fairly cheap with some minor costs for materials and effort.

Curious why a game of Craps would be bad? Is it the potential for gambling? Don't card games and Dominons offer the same potential?

Was thinking RPG games might be interesting, but I seem to recall some court ruling that said playing RPG games is not within a prisoners "rights".
 
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Ralph T
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Rummikub. Mass produced, for adults, no dice. SDJ winner as well.

Othello. Mass produced, suitable for adults, no dice.

Werewolf was described as a hit with prisoners a year ago.
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The all-seeing, all-knowing, all-trollin' Mike Hutton
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superflypete wrote:
mhutton wrote:
A Leisure Time Supervisor and I were talking about starting a board game club at the prison where he works.....we were looking for suggestions for games taking into consideration

1) cost-effective (hoping to find a place with cheap prices/ donationated games)

2) little to no dice (cant have a game of craps breaking out)

3) little to no real-life violence (road kill rally, blood fued in NY would be out probably)

a chess club (with monthly swiss tourneys or ladder play) would be pretty cheap


same with card tournaments & dominoes, but those are prison staples andamlooking to offer a lil more than the same-old same-old


looking for recommendations for games & how to get some copies donated




I don't know about you, but I think prisoners should be entitled to do nothing but sit alone in a cell, read classic literature, eat, sleep, and shit. The fact that you don't want dice games involved due to the inmates deciding to again abuse their privaleges is the first clue that perhaps giving inmates anything at all to do but ponder their situation and how they got there is a bad idea.

Perhaps living a terrible, terrible existence of boredom, horror, and hard, backbreaking labor like back in the 40s would perhaps dissuade them from a life of perpetual criminality as is evidenced by the incredibly poor performance of actually reforming people in the prison system of today?

Anyhow, to answer your question, I'd think abstracts like Hive would be good, as would games such as Dungeon Twister that have no luck involved. Other good ones would be card games that allow for large player counts, like Stich Eln or Citadels. Maybe a game like Top Secret Spies would be good too.


i understand how you feel, but it is this persons JOB to give them something to do.....if you worked at a prison you would know that having activities is a must and keeps the staff and other inmates safer......plus it is a privlidge that can be taken away for poor behavior

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Frank M.
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I'd advise AGAINST the Mille Bornes choice, simply because I've seen otherwise loving friends and spouses turn wrathful when zapped with hazard after hazard whilst their opponent enjoys all four safeties, etc.!
 
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Vlad Taltos
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Well I have a friend who teaches in one most difficult districts in the state and he plays games with his 4-5 graders at lunch, plus some older kids for another job. And had many of the same requirements. So my comments are based on discussions with and helping him.

To get games cheap
1. Scout thrift stores,
2. Garage sales, especially in the middle-class or higher suburbs,they tend to have all the pieces and "just want to get rid of the junk" Community garage sales are great for that too.
3. Buy the really cheap ones, point out ones missing pieces for best prices and combine 2-3 sets, to get a 20$+ game for next to nothing. And then you have some replacement parts if a few get broken etc.
4. Learn the games ahead of time so you can teach them. Not saying the Inmates are stupid but it helps to get the game going. We do this for our game group.
5. Bring in one at a time and have them try it a bit, figure out what the styles\difficulty games and themes they like then target those types when looking around.

If you have the budget a great game that does not have any direct conflict is Dominion, you might check e-bay or Amazon. It uses cards only and has good replay ability.

Ohh and there are some game publishers for little $ like Cheap Ass Games if they are still in business.
 
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The Tak
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I'd try any of the FFG slim-pack games. Mag-Blast, Condottiere, Citadels, etc.

With the state of the criminal detention system in the US reserved for another thread, I really do wish you the best of luck.

Happy gaming!
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Yodlaf Peterson
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Busen Memo

How about this one? Makes them think about being locked up...
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Vlad Taltos
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If your friend can supply some email\fax verification of what they are for, you might see if the game makers or publishers will donate some directly. Will help even more if they can write it off. A friend got some freebies for her coffeehouse by just asking. You can proably find thier homes sites from links on here and just email them.
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Brandon Holmes
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superflypete wrote:

I don't know about you, but I think prisoners should be entitled to do nothing but sit alone in a cell, read classic literature, eat, sleep, and shit. The fact that you don't want dice games involved due to the inmates deciding to again abuse their privaleges is the first clue that perhaps giving inmates anything at all to do but ponder their situation and how they got there is a bad idea.

Perhaps living a terrible, terrible existence of boredom, horror, and hard, backbreaking labor like back in the 40s would perhaps dissuade them from a life of perpetual criminality as is evidenced by the incredibly poor performance of actually reforming people in the prison system of today?


As someone who worked as a guard in a adult prison I can tell you this is a bad idea. It's nice to think they will ponder their situation and see the light but it simply doesn't happen. They will use that time to think of new ways to commit crimes, plot violent acts in the jail, think suicidal thoughts, and become more and more bitter at the system. Whenever they have nothing to do you can literally feel the tension start to rise on the range. Usually they turn to violence on one another but it can also lead to violence on staff at times. The system doesn't reform them (that part is true) but this won't work either. Anyway I won't respond again about this as I don't want to derail the thread.

As for the games I have considered proposing a boardgame program myself (I now work with young offenders) but I have been struggling with it as well. The problem is most of these guys (adults and youths) are pretty low functioning so anything more complex than Risk or Monopoly is out of the question. The next problem is that anything you give them they will try to find a way to convert to a weapon or other tool (or in the case of dice, gamble with, which inevitably leads to violence in the jail). So cards and cardboard is about the best I can hope for to be given a pass by the security manager. Finally anything with a light theme won't fly (no For Sale, Bohnanza, etc.) and any game like Werewolf, Saboteur etc. will lead to a fight inevitably.

Tichu is definitely possible but probably too complex (might work with adults).... And pretty much that's why I stopped trying to form this program. The criteria required is so narrow that few (good) games are going to work and if they are going to play bad/weak games, they may as well keep playing cards and Monopoly.

Edit: P.S. We had to remove all Dominoes as they would stick a bunch of them in a sock and use them like flails/clubs to attack one another. That means a game like Hive won't work either.
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Brian Schroth
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superflypete wrote:
mhutton wrote:
A Leisure Time Supervisor and I were talking about starting a board game club at the prison where he works.....we were looking for suggestions for games taking into consideration

1) cost-effective (hoping to find a place with cheap prices/ donationated games)

2) little to no dice (cant have a game of craps breaking out)

3) little to no real-life violence (road kill rally, blood fued in NY would be out probably)

a chess club (with monthly swiss tourneys or ladder play) would be pretty cheap


same with card tournaments & dominoes, but those are prison staples andamlooking to offer a lil more than the same-old same-old


looking for recommendations for games & how to get some copies donated




I don't know about you, but I think prisoners should be entitled to do nothing but sit alone in a cell, read classic literature, eat, sleep, and shit. The fact that you don't want dice games involved due to the inmates deciding to again abuse their privaleges is the first clue that perhaps giving inmates anything at all to do but ponder their situation and how they got there is a bad idea.

Perhaps living a terrible, terrible existence of boredom, horror, and hard, backbreaking labor like back in the 40s would perhaps dissuade them from a life of perpetual criminality as is evidenced by the incredibly poor performance of actually reforming people in the prison system of today?


Amazingly, the problems of prisons are not new. They've been around for a very long time. And we've learned that your ideas for how prisons should be don't work very well. They're satisfying as revenge fantasies, but not as actual policies.
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Andrew Laws
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Quote:
Perhaps living a terrible, terrible existence of boredom, horror, and hard, backbreaking labor like back in the 40s would perhaps dissuade them from a life of perpetual criminality


I doubt it.

But it would make the permanently terrified, poorly informed, reflexively vindictive masses feel better.

Quote:
I don't know about you, but I think prisoners should be entitled to do nothing but sit alone in a cell, read classic literature, eat, sleep, and shit. The fact that you don't want dice games involved due to the inmates deciding to again abuse their privaleges is the first clue that perhaps giving inmates anything at all to do but ponder their situation and how they got there is a bad idea


I don't know about you, but I think that if you can't even spell privilege, and don't notice it's spelled wrong, even when it's highlighted in red, or did notice but couldn't be bothered to look it up even though you had a world of information literally at your fingertips, then it's unlikely you've got much worthwhile to say about the criminal justice system.



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Alex Eaton-Salners
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Well I can't say that I recommend D&D.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/27/us/27dungeons.html
 
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Vlad Taltos
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Quote:

I don't know about you, but I think prisoners should be entitled to do nothing but sit alone in a cell, read classic literature, eat, sleep, and shit. The fact that you don't want dice games involved due to the inmates deciding to again abuse their privaleges is the first clue that perhaps giving inmates anything at all to do but ponder their situation and how they got there is a bad idea.

Perhaps living a terrible, terrible existence of boredom, horror, and hard, backbreaking labor like back in the 40s would perhaps dissuade them from a life of perpetual criminality as is evidenced by the incredibly poor performance of actually reforming people in the prison system of today?


A joke right? The first part sounds more like Silence of the Lambs and the 2nd like part like Cool Hand Luke.
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Vlad Taltos
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A former friend did 2 years in Texas in Protective Custody in the 90's and said that D&D was what kept them somewhat sane. The same could be said of my pre-internet teenage years. Sad that some people get all bent out of shape about stuff like this, really sad.
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Kenny VenOsdel
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If you get something going please send me a geekmail and let me know how it works. I've had a similar thought on my mind for awhile now and am really interested to see how it works out for you.
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Matt Mattlokk
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I guess it depends on the crime. But for those who are guilty of violent crimes against the innocent and children, Russian Roulette would be a benefit to society.
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Russ Williams
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Perhaps small card games like Schotten Totten, Friday the 13th, SET, High Society, Vampire, etc?

Also there are zillions of abstract strategy games that can be made out of scavenged bits and a checkers board for people interested in more serious 2-player strategy games.

Some good purely paper-and-pencil 2-player strategy games exist as well, e.g. the recent Mirador or the older classic Boxes.

superflypete wrote:
I don't know about you, but I think prisoners should be entitled to do nothing but

(etc)

Short-sighted vengefulness. And what about the prisoners who are in fact innocent? (You're aware that happens, right?) Or prisoners who are in jail for ridiculous "crimes" that didn't hurt anyone? The US is the world leader in having its population in prison (ahead of "less free" countries like China, Russia, Iran, etc!), both in terms of absolute numbers and in terms of percentage of its population, in large part thanks to the "war on the right to put chemicals you want into your body in the privacy of your own home" and privatized prisons as a profit-driven motivator to increase prison populations.
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Chris Geggus
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The European Region of AHIKS used to have a long-timer (if that's the right expression) amongst our ranks who was very active in trying to involve fellow inmates in gaming and arranging clubs, meetings etc. whilst incarcerated. We exchanged correspondence over a period of time and I was able to supply a few games for the guys to play whilst inside.

The game of choice amongst most of them was a well-known multi-player game. It does involve dice, albeit briefly, but otherwise seems to fit the mould for games that the guys would actually enjoy and be able to pick up fairly quickly.

The game is Circus Maximus
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Lloyd
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I would tend to think that any card-based games would be fairly easy to introduce. A few of the games we play (after more serious games) are 6 nimmt! or Coloretto.
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Chris Buhl
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HarlemMimeSchool wrote:
Quote:
Perhaps living a terrible, terrible existence of boredom, horror, and hard, backbreaking labor like back in the 40s would perhaps dissuade them from a life of perpetual criminality


I doubt it.

But it would make the permanently terrified, poorly informed, reflexively vindictive masses feel better.

Quote:
I don't know about you, but I think prisoners should be entitled to do nothing but sit alone in a cell, read classic literature, eat, sleep, and shit. The fact that you don't want dice games involved due to the inmates deciding to again abuse their privaleges is the first clue that perhaps giving inmates anything at all to do but ponder their situation and how they got there is a bad idea


I don't know about you, but I think that if you can't even spell privilege, and don't notice it's spelled wrong, even when it's highlighted in red, or did notice but couldn't be bothered to look it up even though you had a world of information literally at your fingertips, then it's unlikely you've got much worthwhile to say about the criminal justice system.





Eleventy billion thumbs for you (I can't find that nifty Thumbs Up graphic I see some people use in these forums)! And I know I spelled "Eleventy" right, even though the spell checker has it underlined in red...

Wait, I found it!

(thumbsup x eleventy billion)
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Brian Schroth
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superflypete wrote:
Maybe I'm wrong


And "maybe" the federal budget won't be balanced this year.
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