Riker's Island inmates in New York City have been reportedly given off-brand Game Boy-style consoles in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
Superficially, the off-brand gaming consoles given to Riker's Island inmates look like old-school Game Boys. The contents of these consoles, however, are another story entirely: they are typically loaded up with dozens (if not hundreds) of video games, some of which may be infringing on copyrights.
Why Did Riker's Island Inmates Receive Off-Brand Game Consoles?
Why are prison inmates being given game consoles of all things? As strange as it might sound, this is all happening due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Prisoner visitations (and many other social activities) were completely halted as a result of the pandemic. That isn't exactly good for morale in a prison; as such, it seems that New York City decided to pick these devices up as a way to keep inmates occupied in lieu of them being able to see their families and friends through visitations.
Understandably, some people are not happy about the concession.
"They are giving to inmates a Toys R Us on Rikers," a former Corrections employee said to the NY Daily News. "What’s next? PS4s?"
Supplying Riker's Island inmates with these game consoles may be regarded as a curious move, especially since there have been allegations by the Correction Officers' Benevolent Association that the government is not supplying them with adequate personal protective equipment. The NY Department of Correction, for its part, maintains that it has been adquately supplying both prison employees and inmates with the equipment that they need.
Read more about how the COVID-19 novel coronavirus is affecting the gaming world at our Coronavirus Gaming Convention Cancellations and Game Delays Hub.
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What do you think of Riker's Island inmates getting off-brand Game Boys to keep them busy? Do you think this is a good move? Let us know in the comments below!