The Exterminator’s Want-Ad

The Exterminator's Want AdThe Exterminator’s Want-Ad is a wickedly clever short story by Bruce Sterling (one of my favorite writers) about a dystopian future where political prisoners are sentenced to role playing games. Here’s a taste, for inspiration:

When we weren’t planting beans in the former back yard, or digging mold out of the attic insulation, we had to do rehab therapy. This was our prisoner consciousness-building encounter scheme. The regime made us play social games. We weren’t allowed computer games in prison: just dice, graph paper, and some charcoal sticks that we made ourselves.

So, we played this elaborate paper game called “Dungeons and Decency.” Three times a week. The lady warden was our Dungeon Master.