SCOTUS Actually Played "Violent Video Games" Before Ruling On Them

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SCOTUS Actually Played "Violent Video Games" Before Ruling On Them

The judges actually took a look for themselves before ruling games as a protected speech.

The justices of the Supreme Court are not the most technologically sophisticated people. Justice Elena Kagan admits as such, saying that "the court hasn't really 'gotten to' email." And yet, they're often called upon to make rulings relating to technology. In the case of the looming threat of violent video games, the court decided to learn about these nefarious contraptions and actually played a few themselves before ruling them a protected speech, the AP reports.

Back in 2011, California attempted to treat M-rated games like pornography. Even Arnold Schwarzenegger, the famous star of violent action movies, supported the bill. The logic behind it was that the interactivity of games made them different than other media, and thus more dangerous. To find out for themselves, the judges went out and played a few, the result of which was "kind of hilarious," according to Justice Kagan.

Eventually, the court ruled 7-2 against the ban, arguing that all literature is interactive to some degree, and games, while maybe not as "intellectually edifying", should be protected nonetheless.

Justice Kagan doesn't mention exactly what games they played, or what they played them on. In the absence of fact, the only responsive journalistic act is pure speculation. Just what games did Justice Kagan find so amusing? The legal antics of Phoenix Wright? Bowling over cops in GTA4? Justice Scalia's trash talking in Halo 4? Whatever hijinks the court got up to, we're certainly glad they did.

Source: Associated Press via Reason Magazine

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And now I have the most wonderful image in my head of all of them playing Halo swearing like sailors into XBL head sets.

Massive, massive kudos to them for this. This is absolutely the best way they could have gone about it. I'm feeling a weird mixture of proud and surprise.

Now we just need the retards in Australia to do the same thing.

No, wait, that would just end up with them banning MORE games following the "law of ass backwards".

Supreme Court Justices' doing Let's Plays, make it happen.

"Kind of hilarious" for a "violent video game"? Anyone else thinking they played a few Saints Row games?

Yeah, all I took away from this is the Supreme MOTHERFUCKING Court still doesn't use email. The technology is at LEAST 20 years old. (Probably. I was born in 1991, OK?). I get that they're old, but maybe if they can't keep up with, you know, modern society, they should've retired by now.

Good on them for playing the games themselves, though. That 7-2 vote is not bad at all.

Oh and also, I DESPERATELY want to know what they played. In fact, I want a Let's Play.[1]

[1] Shout-out to the guy a few posts above me.

I like to think the Judges had a Halo: CE LAN party and all got drunk whilst playing capture the flag and the two judges that voted against kept getting tea-bagged.

erttheking:
And now I have the most wonderful image in my head of all of them playing Halo swearing like sailors into XBL head sets.

That explains why Scalia stood up for them at the end.

Good thing they didn't try any of the MOBA games, THAT would have gotten the entire industry not only censored but also marked for Exterminatus... :p

Robot Number V:
Yeah, all I took away from this is the Supreme MOTHERFUCKING Court still doesn't use email. The technology is at LEAST 20 years old. (Probably. I was born in 1991, OK?). I get that they're old, but maybe if they can't keep up with, you know, modern society, they should've retired by now.

Yeah, that's pretty fucking depressing. Good on them for their approach to this, and for returning and intelligent result, but not using emails?

How many of the people whose lives they affect no longer even think about email because it's as much a part of their day as showering or a morning coffee? I have in my pocket a device which is connected to three of the email accounts I keep for various purposes. It's sorta like saying your Supreme Court believes that diseases are caused by the tiny invisible demons lurking in bad meat; if you're that far behind the rest of the world, what right have you go to rule over others?

Well, good. Did they really have to play the games for themselves though? really? I mean, if there were the slightest truth that video games made people violent, professional wrestlers and boxers should be shooting up the place every other day shouldn't they?

Robot Number V:
Yeah, all I took away from this is the Supreme MOTHERFUCKING Court still doesn't use email. The technology is at LEAST 20 years old. (Probably. I was born in 1991, OK?). [/footnote]

It's been around in one form or another since at least the sixties.

Great, now try some drugs and tell me if they are still bad.

This is the best way they could handle it. they dont know about technology and games. so lets try to learn something and try playing some of them. you know, actually get the first hand knowledge before maknig a ruling. i got total respect for her and the others involved.

SonicWaffle:
How many of the people whose lives they affect no longer even think about email because it's as much a part of their day as showering or a morning coffee?

i check escapist at least 10 times more often than email. At the time when i dont need email at work (vacation for example) i sometimes go for a week before remember "hey maybe someone wrote me an email". Altrough i do value email and think its a very useful tool and prefer it over IMs but not that many people are constantly connected to it. not to mention that when xbone was revealedl ike 80% of people on the escapist got onto thier soapboxes and shouted that they have no internet at all (ironically posting that on the internet).

And this is why I still have a decent amount of respect for the US Supreme Court. They realize their position and that they need to actually understand what they're ruling on. Except Scalia, but he's a troll so even if he understands something perfectly it makes no difference.

erttheking:
And now I have the most wonderful image in my head of all of them playing Halo swearing like sailors into XBL head sets.

You're not alone in that. And I can imagine all to easily just how hilarious a supreme court lawyer LAN party would be.

Lol. I can see it now

"Do any of you guys feel like serial killers yet?"
"I'm not really feeling it"
"CASE DISMISSED!"

Good for them. I'm glad to see they tried it and weren't completely put off by whatever they played

I just deleted my entire post because as I was typing it I thought of the most amazing thing ever.


Imagine this, but the judge making one. It would be golden.
"I'm Elena Kagan, and I'm a Pandarian warrior! What's your game?!"

SonicWaffle:

Yeah, that's pretty fucking depressing. Good on them for their approach to this, and for returning and intelligent result, but not using emails?

How many of the people whose lives they affect no longer even think about email because it's as much a part of their day as showering or a morning coffee? I have in my pocket a device which is connected to three of the email accounts I keep for various purposes. It's sorta like saying your Supreme Court believes that diseases are caused by the tiny invisible demons lurking in bad meat; if you're that far behind the rest of the world, what right have you go to rule over others?

Thatīs a weird simile.
Itīs not like they believe that email doesnīt exists or assume itīs powered by shoving kittens through pipes. They apparently simply donīt use it.

Couple of years ago, I worked for a Prof. who never used email either. His staff did, as did his secretary, so itīs not like he was hard to reach or missed out on anything. I assume a SCOTUS judge would be in a similar situation.

in this media filled age i DEMAND footage of this :P

on a more serious note i hope they took recommendations from someone with a bit of sense.

actually that gives me an idea for a topic...

Strazdas:
not to mention that when xbone was revealedl ike 80% of people on the escapist got onto thier soapboxes and shouted that they have no internet at all (ironically posting that on the internet).

Not having a constantly stable, broadband connection does not mean you don't have internet at all, ever.

OT: Good on them, but yeah, really weird that they don't use email? I'm guessing that's taken out of context and was meant as a joke.

PS: Love how captcha accepts "fuck off" when it asks me to describe various brands

TheAmazingHobo:
Thatīs a weird simile.

I'm famed for 'em.

TheAmazingHobo:
Itīs not like they believe that email doesnīt exists or assume itīs powered by shoving kittens through pipes. They apparently simply donīt use it.

Which, in the modern world - particularly for people who have the power to make decisions which will effect millions of people - is like claiming you don't speak because you prefer to communicate through cave painting. Given how often people like to claim politicians and lawmakers are out-of-touch, you'd think point one on the agenda would be "get the fuck in touch" and start acting like part of the modern world.

TheAmazingHobo:
Couple of years ago, I worked for a Prof. who never used email either. His staff did, as did his secretary, so itīs not like he was hard to reach or missed out on anything. I assume a SCOTUS judge would be in a similar situation.

Was your professor responsible for understanding and ruling on the modern world?

Good to see them actually sitting down and trying the medium out for themselves instead of just declaring it all evil. Someone give them Spec Ops The Line. As for the e-mail thing, I don't use my email much either. I just chat to my mates on Xbox Live or Steam.

Also, Supreme Court LP's. Now.

Strazdas:
i check escapist at least 10 times more often than email.

But you do check your email. You accept it as a valuable, useful tool for interacting with the world and you have signed up for at least one, probably more, email address. That's very different from "meh, we don't use it", isn't it?

Also, without meaning any offense, you're vastly less important than a member of the Supreme Court. Hell, it's right there in the name; supreme. If they're so out of touch that they don't even use one of the most everyday, popular forms of communication, what else aren't they using? What else don't they know about?

Strazdas:
not to mention that when xbone was revealedl ike 80% of people on the escapist got onto thier soapboxes and shouted that they have no internet at all (ironically posting that on the internet).

Really? I remember a lot of people saying it would suck for people with no internet, or complaining that their internet was not very reliable, or that a console which required internet access was a broken console, but not one person saying they didn't have internet at all.

SonicWaffle:

TheAmazingHobo:
Itīs not like they believe that email doesnīt exists or assume itīs powered by shoving kittens through pipes. They apparently simply donīt use it.

Which, in the modern world - particularly for people who have the power to make decisions which will effect millions of people - is like claiming you don't speak because you prefer to communicate through cave painting. Given how often people like to claim politicians and lawmakers are out-of-touch, you'd think point one on the agenda would be "get the fuck in touch" and start acting like part of the modern world.

But see, here's the thing: The Supreme Court is meant to be a very secretive "Clique". Once they go into a room to decide on a ruling, they're in their by themselves. The only people near them are guards standing outside their sound-proof door. What would they do with email, given that they're meant to be a secretive as humanly possible? Is Justice Kagen going to be emailing her friends saying "Yeah, I'm gonna rule in favor of Gay Marriage"? The problem with Email is that it is meant for communication, but the Supreme Court cannot communicate until they have officially declared a verdict. It makes sense for them to not have email, and I'm sure many of these Justices use Email on their own time.

SonicWaffle:

Robot Number V:
Yeah, all I took away from this is the Supreme MOTHERFUCKING Court still doesn't use email. The technology is at LEAST 20 years old. (Probably. I was born in 1991, OK?). I get that they're old, but maybe if they can't keep up with, you know, modern society, they should've retired by now.

Yeah, that's pretty fucking depressing. Good on them for their approach to this, and for returning and intelligent result, but not using emails?

How many of the people whose lives they affect no longer even think about email because it's as much a part of their day as showering or a morning coffee? I have in my pocket a device which is connected to three of the email accounts I keep for various purposes. It's sorta like saying your Supreme Court believes that diseases are caused by the tiny invisible demons lurking in bad meat; if you're that far behind the rest of the world, what right have you go to rule over others?

It explains a lot of the laws we have on the books with regards to things like software patents. That and catering to big money interests. Kudos for them for not like ruling on the case with out any exposure to the medium though.

JenSeven:
"Kind of hilarious" for a "violent video game"? Anyone else thinking they played a few Saints Row games?

I know exactly what they played:

But seriously, I love that they took a proper hands on approach to this, and seeing a group of the most powerful people huddled around a screen trying to play COD/GTA/whatever would be worth it's weight in gold.

Mr.Mattress:

SonicWaffle:

TheAmazingHobo:
Itīs not like they believe that email doesnīt exists or assume itīs powered by shoving kittens through pipes. They apparently simply donīt use it.

Which, in the modern world - particularly for people who have the power to make decisions which will effect millions of people - is like claiming you don't speak because you prefer to communicate through cave painting. Given how often people like to claim politicians and lawmakers are out-of-touch, you'd think point one on the agenda would be "get the fuck in touch" and start acting like part of the modern world.

But see, here's the thing: The Supreme Court is meant to be a very secretive "Clique". Once they go into a room to decide on a ruling, they're in their by themselves. The only people near them are guards standing outside their sound-proof door. What would they do with email, given that they're meant to be a secretive as humanly possible? Is Justice Kagen going to be emailing her friends saying "Yeah, I'm gonna rule in favor of Gay Marriage"? The problem with Email is that it is meant for communication, but the Supreme Court cannot communicate until they have officially declared a verdict. It makes sense for them to not have email, and I'm sure many of these Justices use Email on their own time.

Presumably they receive a lot of briefings, a lot of notes, plenty of reading material. The sort of thing most people wouldn't think twice about sending via email. A lot of things to do and read and talk about when they're not in session. Do they still have printouts of every little thing?

Good for them they used actual evidence instead of watching fox news for 10 minutes and banning them. Shame politicians in the UK don't do the same instead of letting the daily mail make all their decisions.

I have to respect people who are like "we have no fucking clue about tech but we will give them a go and then decide". Not only for playing before deciding but for admitting that they aren't exactly the best people to decide 'cos of there lack of knowledge.

I respect people a lot more for saying "I don't know" than acting like they do know, there is no shame in not knowing but it is shameful to act knowledgeable about something you're ignorant about.

I think you're taking email bit way out of proportion. Some of these judges actually do, some actually don't. Lots of smart people I know (of varying ages) don't have Email or Facebook or whatever by choice even though they are fully aware of it.

Kudos to them for trying it out. I have respect for people willing to give something new a try. With the flurry of rumors and pointed fingers, games need a fair chance like this to assessed properly.

Yuuki:
Now we just need the retards in Australia to do the same thing.

No, wait, that would just end up with them banning MORE games following the "law of ass backwards".

They already play each game before rating it, but it won't help your quest. They fear the 'dangerous effects of videogame violence and drug use' so much that the review session looks like this:

image

^Actual picture, not hyperbole (taken from Penny Arcade Report)

Vrach:

Strazdas:
not to mention that when xbone was revealedl ike 80% of people on the escapist got onto thier soapboxes and shouted that they have no internet at all (ironically posting that on the internet).

Not having a constantly stable, broadband connection does not mean you don't have internet at all, ever.

OT: Good on them, but yeah, really weird that they don't use email? I'm guessing that's taken out of context and was meant as a joke.

PS: Love how captcha accepts "fuck off" when it asks me to describe various brands

No, you seem, thse people claimed they dont havei nternet at all, and hat they connect once every few weeks and whatnot. you didnt need constantly stable connection, just one to be able to send a "hello i exist" packet once every 24 hours, but apperently people started claiming their internet constantly goes off for multiple weeks or that most of gamers dont ahve internet at all (which is false, broadbadn coverage is above 60%, if we count older methods its even larger. and out of the 40% thats left we have to realize quite a few are non-gamers who dont care about computers at all. the % for gamers demograpihc would be much better because of inherent thing about them being more tech-savy to begin with.

capcha accepts anything when its brands. i often just type in the brand or "sucks" as i dont know most of them. probably american-specific brands.

SonicWaffle:

Strazdas:
i check escapist at least 10 times more often than email.

But you do check your email. You accept it as a valuable, useful tool for interacting with the world and you have signed up for at least one, probably more, email address. That's very different from "meh, we don't use it", isn't it?

Also, without meaning any offense, you're vastly less important than a member of the Supreme Court. Hell, it's right there in the name; supreme. If they're so out of touch that they don't even use one of the most everyday, popular forms of communication, what else aren't they using? What else don't they know about?

Strazdas:
not to mention that when xbone was revealedl ike 80% of people on the escapist got onto thier soapboxes and shouted that they have no internet at all (ironically posting that on the internet).

Really? I remember a lot of people saying it would suck for people with no internet, or complaining that their internet was not very reliable, or that a console which required internet access was a broken console, but not one person saying they didn't have internet at all.

Yes, but it isnt like you said every day always connected thing. more like "yeah i need to see if something important came up. kinda the same reason i use skype - everyone has it. id be very happy without it. but yes it is a valuable thing.
And of course i am less important. nor do i need to know so many things (like for exampl all the laws) as supreme court. you cant be knowledgable in everything. I mean sure it would be good if they knew at least the basics of most things they judge on. and well, they tried to find out for themselves, which is the while story here.
While not judges specifically, i am an auditor in training, and in essence once(if) i get put up as a "real independant auditor" i woudl essentialy have to go to a company and check whether it works correctly. and that is not only checking the papers. now i dont know every manufacturing way of every company, so how can i check if they are doing it correctly? And this is essentialy the same problem judges face when they dont know the subject. and the answer is simply - specialists. while its getting more popular to have internal auditor, and if its considered trustworthy his opinion is enough (it would be my choice whether to trust him or not really). he does not know everything about auditing, but he knows that sepcific part that his company do well. same for courts, they have specialists. presidents also use ministers for certain parts (lets pretend they actually know what their doing). noone can be knowledgable in everything, even the basics.
As for itnernet i kind of answered to the guy above. people were indeed claiming that they live where there is no internet. remmeber the whole "then they should move to the big city" scandal ech.

Strazdas:
Yes, but it isnt like you said every day always connected thing. more like "yeah i need to see if something important came up. kinda the same reason i use skype - everyone has it. id be very happy without it. but yes it is a valuable thing.

What makes me laugh is that most of the people in this thread who, like yourself, are saying they don't check their email every day are also saying that they instead use IM, the Escapist or Skype. Discussion and conversational methods which have advanced past the restrictions of email. No, you don't need to check email every day, because your technological usage is already on the next level. What the judge is saying is that she's several steps behind you and she is one of the people responsible for deciding the future of a country. That kind of person should, in terms of social awareness, be several steps ahead of the average person in order to fully understand the modern society they have power over.

Strazdas:
While not judges specifically, i am an auditor in training, and in essence once(if) i get put up as a "real independant auditor" i woudl essentialy have to go to a company and check whether it works correctly. and that is not only checking the papers.

I'm an accountant, I know what auditing is ;-)

Strazdas:
now i dont know every manufacturing way of every company, so how can i check if they are doing it correctly? And this is essentialy the same problem judges face when they dont know the subject. and the answer is simply - specialists. while its getting more popular to have internal auditor, and if its considered trustworthy his opinion is enough (it would be my choice whether to trust him or not really). he does not know everything about auditing, but he knows that sepcific part that his company do well. same for courts, they have specialists. presidents also use ministers for certain parts (lets pretend they actually know what their doing). noone can be knowledgable in everything, even the basics.

False analogy. The Supreme Court being technologically behind the population is like you turning up on audit with an abacus, and when offered a calculator laughing sheepishly and saying "Oh, I haven't gotten around to those yet".

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