News Article

Broadmoor Inmates Receive Wiis

Posted by Adam Russell

Inmates of UK-based Broadmoor Hospital receive Wii consoles and games to aid their rehabilitation

As gamers we’re well aware of the bad press our hobby often receives from the mainstream media but you can’t help but laugh at The Sun’s recent headline “Resident Wii-vil” and their accompanying picture caption “Yorkshire Ripper… Bowling Fun”.

The story relates to Broadmoor Hospital, formerly Broadmoor Criminal Lunatic Asylum, receiving twenty-two Nintendo Wiis along with additional remotes and copies of Wii Fit. These are being used as part of the patients’ treatment and Wii Fit is used as part of a strategy to increase exercise.

The hospital is famous for housing some of the UK’s most violent criminals including Peter Sutcliffe a.k.a. the Yorkshire Ripper and murderer Robert Napper.

A source at the hospital recalls watching Napper and Sutcliffe enjoying a game of Wii Bowling and goes on to say:

When you think of their crimes and the misery they have caused, you have to ask if it's right for society to pay to entertain them.

This cash could have been spent improving care in the wider NHS. In the meantime all we hear is laughter as patients play with their new toys.

One question remains however: has Sutcliffe created his own Mii or did he download one of joke likenesses others have created on the Mii Contest Channel?


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User Comments (29)



Cipher said:

This is just getting ridiculous now. Might as well give them top-of-the-range phones, TVs, jacuzzis etc.




longtimegamer said:

Someones got a screw loose over there and it's not just the the inmates apparently. If they have people like that locked up in there they are too dangerous to let out. Why would they want to rehabilitate them and how is Wii fit going to do that?
Soo...let me get this straight, if you kill somebody you get rewarded?



Sean_Aaron said:

Most patients stay there for less than six years and yes, unlike America where prison has become a growth industry and you'll find the most punitive prison sentences and highest rate of incarceration outside of China, in the UK the focus is on reform and rehabilitation.

It's not perfect, but I'd rather buying a few Wiis than putting people in prison for 30 years for drug possession.



gameaddict247 said:

If you are in prison we dont deseve a Wii - end of story- they should have very little of what they get and I stand by that.



Token_Girl said:

I wouldn't mind having tax dollars go towards Wii's as a part of a court mandated or prison run drug rehab program for people who are incarcerated for drug possession. Serial Is it even possible to reform serial killers? Not yet anyways. If there was, you could bet that shrink would be ultra famous right now.

Though the majority who are there for around 6 years on average, I'm assuming committed less violent crimes and it may be possible to rehabilitate them, and this may not be a terrible purchase. But when they're going to some of the UK's most violent criminals you do have to ask if this money could have been used more effectively somewhere else in the healthcare system. For example, by giving an impoverished teenage mother prenatal care or training educators to better recognize signs of mental illness so that cases can be caught (and hopefully rehabilitated) before people become serial killers or any other public health intervention that would have a greater positive effect on the society at large.



RyuZebian said:

When one of my friends wanted to sell his old gamecube, he somehow ended up selling it to people in prison... I think that someone he knew was in there and so he had a contact. Yeah. But yes, rehabilitation is the best focus a prison can have. If you just treat them like crap and then relase them afterwards, do you think they'll change? If you catch an animal and beat it when it does something wrong, do you expect it to behave better when you set it free? Oh no. You should tell it when it does something wrong, and reward it when it does something right... Oh that's right: What did they do to deserve Wii?! I think only the prisoners who show signs of improvement should have such priveledges!



Sean_Aaron said:

The NHS already provides excellent prenatal care and whilst there are serial killers incarcerated at Broadmoor they're the celebrity minority. Most people there aren't serial killers.

We also don't tend to lock people up for simple drug possession, full stop (certainly in Scotland they're talking about stopping that altogether). It's a tempest in a teacup, but it should stir up some debate in these comments!



lovelessrapture said:

First off it might be an idea to not use the Sun as some of your sources as it's about as believable as playground rumours among 13 year olds.

Secondly, this idea some people above mentioned of prison being solely for keeping convicted persons there to be outside of society is wholely unworkable. As Sean Aarons pointed out, reform and rehabilitation. Everything has cause & effect. A person isn't born a criminal; they need to be re-educated on rights and wrongs so that they can re-enter society having learned of what they done was damaging to others. If you don't work from that point there's really no point in having a prison in the first place.

Also the people above mentioning how killers should never be released, I'd love to know their opinion of the James Bulger case.



Raylax said:

That picture is brilliant. That's the only opinion I have for this article.



longtimegamer said:

@Ryuzebian: I don't want a serial killer let back out. So no, they don't need it. As for the other less dangerous, such as drug users and theifs, and such, if they want to give them positive reinforcement do so with words and more freedom. There is no reason why they need something like a Wii.



Mange said:

Why is this news tagged with dissapointment? You could also ask if the person inside the hospital referred to as the source, is the right person for the job. Me thinks not.



Sean_Aaron said:

@Mange: They didn't get the motion-plus version?

@loveless: um it's not old news, that was an article saying they were "to get" Wii Fit, and this is an article stating that "they've received" Wii Fit. So please take back your slur!



lovelessrapture said:

I hardly see how that makes it new news. The information has not changed in any way. It's not like a case that's developing where more information is gathered (e.g previews on forthcoming games). The same thing would've been known then is known now. If that makes sense.

Plus it's rather worrying that stuff only becomes news seemingly when the sun publishes it.



Sean_Aaron said:

It might have been aborted though, you don't know! Now it's been confirmed they really got the Wiis (and Playstations and whatever) it = news.



Token_Girl said:

I'm not sure what the NHS does well or poorly. However, surely there is something they could have used the money for that would have a greater benefit to society at large. I am pro rehabilitation, and I would say there are murderers who could be rehabilitated...I'm just saying the article makes these guys seem closer to Hannibal Lector than Andrea Yates (drowned her children, diagnosed with postpartum psychosis). Not too familiar with their cases though. Although, I would also say, that in a world with limited funds, attempting to rehabilitate the worst serial killers may not be the most effective use of those funds. However other situations (like the postpartum psychosis case mentioned above), would be more arguably worth it.



lovelessrapture said:

lol this could go on forever. But okies, I'll withdraw my criticism of the site if you insist As long as you keep doing nice reviews of obscure stuff I wouldnt've heard of otherwise it's all good



Sean_Aaron said:

I still see the words Nintendo Life and FAIL in close proximity in your post loveless! EDIT: Thanks for that mate. Our reputation is restored!

@Token Girl: It's a couple hundred quid and I'm sure the mass murderers aren't getting any more time than anyone else. personally I'd take any serial offenders who are deemed unredeemable out to the garden shed and put a bullet in their brains, but otherwise I don't see a bit of Wii Sports Bowling as the end of the world.



JebbyDeringer said:

What's the big deal...I can see how the Wii would help with rehabilitation. If the Wii helps criminals get along with others so be it. Most of the problem with criminals is their attitude towards other people and being so self absorbed.



Ristar42 said:

I despair of reactionary tabloid headlines, unless the Sun also recommend its readership to go seek out a copy of Foucault's 'Discipline and Punishment' to really get them thinking about the concept.



BulbasaurusRex said:

I've heard of an Arizona prison warden, who when told he had to provide cable TV to his inmates, blocked every channel except for the Weather Channel and Disney Channel. That guy knows what he's doing.



Machu said:

I visited Woodhill Prison when I was 16, as part of a school trip (yeah, I know). We were shocked to learn the in-mates had access to Sky tv. Years later, it seems the situation has only worsened.

I despair sometimes I really do.

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