The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that an Oregon prisoner has no right to receive roleplaying games in prison under the U.S. Constitution. Prison officials had prohibited the prisoner from purchasing Games Workshop's White Dwarf magazine. 'Roleplaying games are prohibited,' they said, 'to prevent inmates from placing themselves in fantasy roles that reduce accountability and substitute raw power for legitimate authority.'
The prisoner argued in his initial suit that his free-speech rights were being violated. On appeal, he argued that White Dwarf contains no roleplaying materials. The court rejected those arguments, although allowing that the Oregon state constitution, which has broader free speech protections than the U.S. Constitution, might provide protection that would apply.
The prisoner had also originally been banned from receiving his subscription to Green Lantern, but that ban was overturned because it was based on a rule against materials sent by bulk mail, which was ruled unconstitutional.