Can You Play Video Games in Prison?

can you play video games in prison

Prison is definitely not the best place to be, however, if you end up being sent there, then it may worthwhile to know if you can play video games. As we all know, the video game industry is a multi-billion dollar company and is only getting more and more popular as time goes on.

Video games are a great way to pass the time as well as keep you entertained for hours at a time. From action games to roleplaying games, there’s something for everyone. Playing video games in prison sounds like a great way to keep yourself busy and out of trouble.

Can you play video games in prison? The answer to this question is yes. You will need to provide your own console or system, and you will not be able to access the internet with it. Many inmates play the older systems like Playstation 2 and Xbox.

Can You Have a Playstation or Xbox in Prison?

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Inmates are definitely allowed to have a Playstation or Xbox in prison, however, they will need to be purchased themselves as the prisons will not provide them. These consoles will have to be acquired from the outside and there will be strict rules on when and how you are able to use them.

However, most prisons will not allowed any outside console to be used as a source of video game entertainment, but instead will be provided tablets. Through the years, prisons throughout the US have started to provide inmate tablet programs.

This is a program which allows inmates to have and use tablets. Some of these tablets are free and provided by the Department of Corrections, but if they aren’t, then the inmate must purchase them from the commissary.

These tablets will have games pre-loaded onto them and are strictly monitored. Many of the games cost around 5-10 dollars and are usually basic games like Solitaire or other simple games.

Most of the time many inmates do not see a use for these as they are not very entertaining and the value far exceeds what they are willing to pay in or order to play these types of games.

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Can You Play Online Video Games in Prison?

One caveat to bringing your own consoles into prison and playing them is that they can only be from the older generation games. Newer generation consoles are not allowed as these consoles usually require the use of internet in order to be fully functional.

Older systems that do not require or have internet access are allowed to be used. For the most part, retro consoles like Nintendo 64, the original Playstation, Sega Genesis, and Super Nintendo do not have any internet access and should be allowed in most prisons.

Benefits of Playing Video Games in Prison

Many may think that video games are just a mindless activity that offers no benefits, but that can be far from the truth. Although video game addiction can be a real problem, for the most part, video games provide many positive effects on the body.

Here are just a few of the positive effects that gaming can have on the brain and body:

  • Improved cognitive functions
  • Improvement in logic and problem-solving
  • Ability to multi-task at higher levels
  • Increased hand and eye coordination along with faster and more accurate decision making
  • An increase in attention to detail
  • A way to keep inmates out of trouble by keeping them busy
  • Many other benefits not listed here

Should Inmates Be Allowed to Play Video Games in Prison?

Inmates should definitely be allowed to play video games in prison, however they should still be monitored as to what they have access to. With many of the benefits that we mentioned up above that video games can have on the mind and body, it is almost imperative that we allow them to have access to these types of extracurricular activities.

We believe games that challenge the mind, and make you problem solve, will have a much higher benefit for inmates than the games that have mindless fighting and other harmful events. This is the reason why many of the facilities heavily monitor what inmates are and aren’t allowed to play.

This is regulated with the use of the inmate tablet program. These tablets have designated types of games that these inmates can play that meet certain criteria set by the Department of Corrections.

Final Thoughts

Inmates have access to, and can play video games while in prison. There are some prisons that will allow for outside consoles to be taken inside and used, however, these consoles must be of the retro age which do not have access to the internet.

With the video game industry booming as much as it is right now, they are becoming a common pass time in just about every household. Being in prison can be a low time in anyone’s life, and playing video games can be a good way to cope and help the time pass by.

They can keep you entertained for hours at a time. With the wide variety of genres available, there is pretty much something for everybody, whether you are into video games or not.

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