Don't Drop the Soap
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. The game received criticism for its content, most notably for the game's treatment of prison rape. 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. The game officially went on sale on January 31, 2008 in Lawrence, Kansas and through Sebelius' personal website, and is considered to be similar to Monopoly in its gameplay.
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 without dropping the soap in the prison shower. If a prisoner "drops the soap", they must return to the beginning of the game.
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." The Pitch criticized Sebelius, labeling the game "The Idiot Son of an Elected Official." Politician Tim Huelskamp requested that the game be investigated and voiced concerns that the game was being marketed and stored at Cedar Crest, the Governor's mansion.
- "'Don't Drop The Soap' Game Causes Controversy". KCTV5. January 30, 2008. Archived from the original on 2008-10-07. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
- "Kansas governor's son makes 'Don't Drop the Soap pornography' game". Joystiq. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
- "Governor’s son creates prison-themed game". MSNBC. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
- "Sebelius' son sells game out of Cedar Crest". CJ Online. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
- Cornado, Chris. "Game Changer: John Sebelius". Washington Post. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
- "BIPARTISAN PANEL CONDEMNS "DON'T DROP THE SOAP" BOARD GAME (press release)" (PDF). NPREC. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
- "The Idiot Son: A Board Game". Pitch. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
- "Lawmaker critical of Sebelius’ son’s game". Lawrence Journal-World. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
- Christopher, Hearne, Jr. "Soap game has some lather", The Kansas City Star, February 3, 2008, accessed June 4, 2008.