Can You Play Video Games in Prison?

Can You Play Video Games in Prison?

Many gamers wonder whether if they end up behind bars, maybe for a serious traffic offense or being at the wrong place at the wrong time, will they be able to play their favorite video games in prison?  Certainly yes, it’s highly likely depending on the prison one is sent to. It’s possible to be a victim of circumstances, and you may be unable to prove your innocence and end up behind bars for some time. What matters is how you will utilize your stay there. Video gaming will keep you busy and away from trouble.

Prison is not a fun place to be in. However, if you’re sent there, it’s up to you to make the best out of it, have fun, and avoid fights. In Oregon, for example, a new program found that some games better inmates.

The incentive program allowed inmates to a $35 game console if they finished 18 months without any disciplinary problems. The results, disciplined problems dropped even as the inmate population increased.

In Rikers prison, violent inmates get rewarded with video games of their choice for good behavior. The reward also includes pizza delivery, and the inmates respond by keeping their units clean and not breaking the rules.

Playing Video Games in Prison

As we have seen, you can play video games in prison, but it depends on where you are incarcerated. Some prisons have not yet rolled video gaming programs but are in the process of doing so.

Video gaming has become a great form of distraction, and it can be for good reasons. When boredom in prison kicks in, that’s when people start getting edgy and angry for stupid reasons. They may end up fighting, and rivalry begins. But when they are distracted, they have no time to pick bones with each other.

What’s more, rewards are a smart way of controlling people’s behavior. If an inmate is aware that misbehaving and breaking the rules will have some severe repercussions, like being denied their favorite video game on Xbox, they will think twice before creating trouble.

So, yes, you can play video games in prison if you avoid unnecessary confrontations, bond with other prisoners, and be on the administration’s good books.

Video Games in Jail for Inmates

Video games are the fastest-growing entertainment industry. They are loved inside and outside the tall walls. However, some people argue that prisoners should not play violent games such as GTA 5 or Call of Duty. Here are the kinds of games you are likely to play in prison.

Madden NFL

This is no surprise. We all love football. Some of us love watching and supporting our favorite teams, while others take the experience a notch higher through their consoles. Even prisoners love to play NFL.

Sports games are an easier way of keeping inmates out of trouble. Who doesn’t love running and hitting people with the ball tight in their hands? Madden NFL happens to be one of the most popular video games in the US, and inmates love the game.

Forza Horizon or Dirt Rally

Forza Horizon is a stunning video game. Where else would you experience the best of cars while in prison except in a racing game? Forza features fantastic countryside maps, and players can own a race garage full of customized vehicles.

Another racing video game that inmates can play is Dirt Rally. The video game features realistic effects and looks real.


Soccer fans in prison have a choice of playing FIFA. Soccer is popular in South America, and it’s probably what El Chapo plays. That’s if the administration has been kind enough to supply him with a console.

FIFA is also one of the most popular games in UK prisons. Most European nations are into soccer, and the UK is not left out.


Minecraft is the most popular video game in the US. This game allows the player to transverse through different environments of a landscape. The player explores caves to find resources which they use to build shelters.

This is one of the perfect games for inmates. They can spend hours minding resources on screen and not through hard labor like in the old days. Talk about a good time waster!


Another video game with a massive fanbase is the NBA 2K. Many factors make NBA 2K and Madden NFL the favorite games in American cells.

First, sports are popular, and secondly, they can be used to help release some tension. Most African-American inmates prefer the NBA over the NFL. Nothing excites them like making LeBron perform tricks and send the ball through the net.


Inmates are, however, not allowed to play violent video games or games with sexual content. Too bad they can’t play GTA 5, one of the most popular games right now. Better any video game than none at all, right?