Crapshoot: Hard Time, a real-time prison simulator where you are a prisoner

From 2010 to 2014 Richard Cobbett Crapshoot wrote a column about rolling the dice to bring random, mysterious games back to life. This week, the crime meets punishment, to end in a direct collision with prison, whose only usual break with reality.

Hard Time is the only game I have ever played that allows you to create a character screen that lets you choose to be a child abuser, terrorist or rapist. You don’t have to be, of course. You could simply be a drug addict, a saboteur, or in trouble because of prostitution – although the tough time doesn’t tell which part of the transaction led to your arrest and imprisonment in a brutal South Town Correctional Facility.

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