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The Art of Escape

Ryan Bradley | Kill Screen | December 7, 2015 | 3,122 words

What do we gain from giving inmates access to video games?

Posted inFeatured, Nonfiction, Story, Uncategorized

The Art of Escape

What do we gain from giving inmates access to video games?

Ryan Bradley | Kill Screen | December 2015 | 13 minutes (3,122 words)

Our latest Longreads Exclusive is a new essay from Ryan Bradley and Kill Screen, the videogame arts and culture magazine. Kill Screen is currently wrapping up a Kickstarter campaign to reinvent their print magazine, so donate here.

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No one wore stripes that spring and summer in Leavenworth. Stripes were for rule breakers, and no one was breaking the rules. “Baseball As A Corrective” read the front page of the New York Times that May. It was 1912 and “the magic of baseball” had “wrought a wonderful change in the United States Penitentiary.” For the first time in Leavenworth’s history, for months at a time, everyone behaved, because everyone wanted to play or watch the baseball games. “Chronic trouble makers began to be so good that the officials were startled,” the Times reported. Prison guards were planning more amusements for the winter, “such as vaudeville entertainments and moving picture shows, to keep the men on their good behavior.”

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