Prison Achitect Funding Cancelled Due to Insensitivity, Statement Made by Designers

27 May 2021
An honest response made over on BGG

Prison Architect is primarily known as a video game, though a recent Kickstarter sought funding for a tabletop version, by designers David Turczi and Noralie Lubbers, published through PSC. However, after a slow uptake in funding, and disappointment voiced on both racial and distasteful elements of the theme, a statement has been uploaded to Board Game Geek and the funding itself cancelled. 

You can read the full statement by clicking here. 

In summary, it explains how the game was made as a result of enjoying the video game, but acknowledges that there were additional reasons that should have been considered that were against making the game entirely. 

Although it acknowledges certain areas of concern were given thought within the design - potential exploitation of sexual assault and Death Row were removed, attempts were made to remove slavery aspects associated, it goes on to explain it was a mess up to continue with the theme regardless, and that it didn't take into account that the game would cause discomfort and remain exclusionary. It comments that the designers were well meaning, but "ignorant, privileged, and overexcited" in its creation as a fun little game, and learned from comments that have come in since. 

As a result, the designers have requested the publishers remove their names and credits from all associated aspects of Prison Architect: Cardboard County Penitentiary, as well as giving up any claim to royalties, sales, or any follow up of the same IP. 

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It closes with the sentence: "All we desire is to be able to look the other members of the community - the community we want to be a part of - in the eyes, and say: Sorry, we made a mistake. We now understand better. And we will listen more, and from all voices, wherever games are played."






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