Don't Drop the Soap

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Don't Drop the Soap is a controversial prison-themed board game designed by art student John Sebelius as a 2006 class project at the Rhode Island School of Design.[1] The game received criticism for its content, most notably for the game's treatment of prison rape.[2] Sebelius also received notice for being the son of Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius and U.S. Magistrate Judge K. Gary Sebelius.[3] The game officially went on sale on January 31, 2008 in Lawrence, Kansas and through Sebelius' personal website,[4] and is considered to be similar to Monopoly in its gameplay.[5]

Gameplay[edit]

The gameplay consists of six levels and can be played by up to three people. Users can choose to play as Sal "The Butcher", "Anferny", or "Wheelz", a handicapped prisoner. The ultimate goal of the game is for the player to make parole. If a prisoner "drops the soap", they must return to the beginning of the game.

Reaction[edit]

The National Prison Rape Elimination Commission, a U.S. bipartisan panel aimed at curbing prison rape, criticized the game and stated that the title made light of "a serious and all-too-pervasive violent sex crime."[6] The Pitch criticized Sebelius, labeling the game "The Idiot Son of an Elected Official."[7] Politician Tim Huelskamp requested that the game be investigated and voiced concerns that the game was being marketed and stored at Cedar Crest, the Govenor's mansion.[8]

Sebelius responded to the criticism, explaining that he meant for the game to be a lighthearted spoof and was not an endorsement of prison rape.[9][3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "'Don't Drop The Soap' Game Causes Controversy". KCTV5. January 30, 2008. Retrieved 7 January 2014. 
  2. ^ "Kansas governor's son makes 'Don't Drop the Soap' game". Joystiq. Retrieved 7 January 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "Governor’s son creates prison-themed game". MSNBC. Retrieved 7 January 2014. 
  4. ^ "Sebelius' son sells game out of Cedar Crest". CJ Online. Retrieved 7 January 2014. 
  5. ^ Cornado, Chris. "Game Changer: John Sebelius". Washington Post. Retrieved 7 January 2014. 
  6. ^ "BIPARTISAN PANEL CONDEMNS "DON'T DROP THE SOAP" BOARD GAME (press release)". NPREC. Retrieved 7 January 2014. 
  7. ^ "The Idiot Son: A Board Game". Pitch. Retrieved 7 January 2014. 
  8. ^ "Lawmaker critical of Sebelius’ son’s game". Lawrence Journal-World. Retrieved 7 January 2014. 
  9. ^ Christopher, Hearne, Jr. "Soap game has some lather", The Kansas City Star, February 3, 2008, accessed June 4, 2008.