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

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A new Lets Play approach, dressing up as the supreme court.

I honestly would love to see them release a Let's Play of Diablo 3 or Grand Theft Auto Multiplayer or something XP

I believe it was Alito that did most of the "playing", and tried to suade the court to ban video games. If Kagan found any of the violence "amusing" then it would have to be BioShock 1 & 2. Given that she's as far from conservative libertarian as you can get I think she'd find it funny to see how messed up an Ayn Rand utopia would be. Heck I initially thought the game was Ayn Rand propaganda to show off how "utopian" it would be save for these "plasmids", but if you pay attention it was messed up even without the plasmids.

Strazdas:

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.

That's the thing though, there is a good possibility of internet going off for a long period of time, it depends where you're from. Personally, in Serbia, even living in the capital, I've had issues myself and know other people who've had week-long internet shortages (got great internet now thankfully, but again, I know others who aren't so lucky)

Even in more developed countries, you have the same issue occasionally, whether it's cause they live in the countryside or in smaller cities (or just in the jurisdiction of a shitty ISP with no alternatives, as is the case in a lot of the US from what I hear). And the whole Xbox argument in my opinion comes down to one thing the same way DRM does - you shouldn't be treated as a criminal for a legitimately owned product or be cut off from your games (for any period of time) for no reason and outside your responsibility.

Anyway, the whole thing's off topic here and I personally don't own or intend to own an Xbox any time soon. Just a thought on the principle of the thing.

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.

I yield to your to your obvious proficiency in the field of weird similes. Your fame in this area of verbal fencing is truly well deserved.

Funny as it may be to picture judges shouldering up in dark rooms to play grand theft auto and manhunt, I'm glad they did for professional reasons. Perhaps its a sign of pessimism, but I expected them to rule on the notion without ever touching the stuff, which is around as upsetting as someone ruling on books without having read any, yet would not have shocked me.

So, neat. :)

So I suppose the day-long LAN games explain why it took so long for them to make a ruling.
Reading between the lines, they used an M rated game in a social setting and managed to get something unexpected out of it, also known as... pretty much everyone's experience.

TheAmazingHobo:

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.

I yield to your to your obvious proficiency in the field of weird similes. Your fame in this area of verbal fencing is truly well deserved.

I didn't spend six years getting my accreditation in odd similies for nothing!

I too am worried about justices who don't understand 20-year old technology in a culture where technologies often have a relevant lifetime of about 5 years. But at least they demonstrate an ability to do their homework and produce a sane ruling.

Congress, on the other hand, has the same problem, but hasn't really shown a willingness to do as much about it.

"Don't knock until you try it." I guess that's the lesson we're supposed to learn today, yes?

McMullen:
I too am worried about justices who don't understand 20-year old technology in a culture where technologies often have a relevant lifetime of about 5 years.

They have aides and staff for that kind of thing, the last thing they need to be doing with everything going through their heads is worrying about email. Their job is to know the law and interpret the constitution. They tend to do a good job at that.

Also, as paperless as everything is becoming, have you ever been in a court? There are lots of papers. Everywhere. Everything LEGAL still has a physical paper trail, and everything done with courts is still done physically. So to the previous comment someone made about them having briefs and writs and requests, everything to look at... it's done as it has been for the last few hundred years, on paper, because that's still what matters.

tangoprime:

McMullen:
I too am worried about justices who don't understand 20-year old technology in a culture where technologies often have a relevant lifetime of about 5 years.

They have aides and staff for that kind of thing, the last thing they need to be doing with everything going through their heads is worrying about email. Their job is to know the law and interpret the constitution. They tend to do a good job at that.

Also, as paperless as everything is becoming, have you ever been in a court? There are lots of papers. Everywhere. Everything LEGAL still has a physical paper trail, and everything done with courts is still done physically. So to the previous comment someone made about them having briefs and writs and requests, everything to look at... it's done as it has been for the last few hundred years, on paper, because that's still what matters.

This misses the point that they have a poor understanding of the things they are ruling on. Would you trust people who have no idea what a router, server, or IP address is to make an informed ruling on SOPA?

I bet none of the outcry against GTA3 back in the day was by people who actually played the game; the violence in that title is comical more than anything. While today's mainstream videogames are a whole lot more viscerally violent, there's barely any of them that don't provide a legitimate reason for that violence; not moreso than any other medium.

Though the "no email" thing is disturbing. We're constantly on the edge of having our internet rights ripped away from us from corporations, and our supreme court hasn't even dipped their toes into the system as a whole. It's severely disingenuous of them to not make an effort to keep up with tech.

I'm just glad we have a Supreme court that understands their job is to preserve rights, not to take them away.

McMullen:

tangoprime:

McMullen:
I too am worried about justices who don't understand 20-year old technology in a culture where technologies often have a relevant lifetime of about 5 years.

They have aides and staff for that kind of thing, the last thing they need to be doing with everything going through their heads is worrying about email. Their job is to know the law and interpret the constitution. They tend to do a good job at that.

Also, as paperless as everything is becoming, have you ever been in a court? There are lots of papers. Everywhere. Everything LEGAL still has a physical paper trail, and everything done with courts is still done physically. So to the previous comment someone made about them having briefs and writs and requests, everything to look at... it's done as it has been for the last few hundred years, on paper, because that's still what matters.

This misses the point that they have a poor understanding of the things they are ruling on. Would you trust people who have no idea what a router, server, or IP address is to make an informed ruling on SOPA?

If it gets to the supreme court level, yes, I do trust them to make that decision, as the previous poster pointed out, they understand that their job is to preserve rights, not take them away. That's the wonderful thing about the constitution, the basic framework that guarantees our rights doesn't change with time, and they've proven themselves capable of adapting that regardless of the circumstances. They don't use email? Fine, as long as they know what it is, and are educated enough to figure out legal implications and how the matter does or doesn't violate the constitution, as they've always proven able to do, let them keep using their aides and secretaries and handle their business. As is the above poster, I too am glad we have a Supreme Court that understands that their job is to preserve rights and not take them away.

Legislators on the other hand... they have no damn business making laws with things they're unfamiliar with or haven't researched. Thankfully, that's how checks and balances works, they make stupid asinine laws, and if it violates our rights, the courts slap it away. This is why people should pay more attention to whom their votes are going, and stop electing dipshits, but I guess that's how representation works, ignorant people elect ignorant representatives.

I really wish I knew which games they played. Are we talking about old titles like Pacman or newer games like GTA that were at the heart of the discussion? Seriously, what did such an important decision ride on?

I've heard a report that said Resident Evil 4 and Medal of Honor were sent to them among other titles. All playstation titles to be exact:

http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entry/it-was-kind-of-hilarious-kagan-says-supreme

McMullen:

tangoprime:

McMullen:
I too am worried about justices who don't understand 20-year old technology in a culture where technologies often have a relevant lifetime of about 5 years.

They have aides and staff for that kind of thing, the last thing they need to be doing with everything going through their heads is worrying about email. Their job is to know the law and interpret the constitution. They tend to do a good job at that.

Also, as paperless as everything is becoming, have you ever been in a court? There are lots of papers. Everywhere. Everything LEGAL still has a physical paper trail, and everything done with courts is still done physically. So to the previous comment someone made about them having briefs and writs and requests, everything to look at... it's done as it has been for the last few hundred years, on paper, because that's still what matters.

This misses the point that they have a poor understanding of the things they are ruling on. Would you trust people who have no idea what a router, server, or IP address is to make an informed ruling on SOPA?

Typically Supreme Court rulings involve procedure and consistency, rarely do they decide strictly on the merit of the case.

McMullen:
This misses the point that they have a poor understanding of the things they are ruling on. Would you trust people who have no idea what a router, server, or IP address is to make an informed ruling on SOPA?

tangoprime:
Legislators on the other hand... they have no damn business making laws with things they're unfamiliar with or haven't researched. Thankfully, that's how checks and balances works, they make stupid asinine laws, and if it violates our rights, the courts slap it away. This is why people should pay more attention to whom their votes are going, and stop electing dipshits, but I guess that's how representation works, ignorant people elect ignorant representatives.

By those merits, since legislators and judges can't possibly be experts in every single field their jurisdictions cover, should we just not allow governments to have any power at all? That may sound like flamebaiting, but I actually have run into people before who genuinely believe that.

To be fair, email is sort of being replaced by more efficient and convenient systems. How often do you choose to use a social media messaging system rather than email? Maybe these Justices can get ahead of the curve for once.

The people demand Supreme Court Let's Plays! In all honesty, you have to commend them for at least trying the damn things before banning them, especially considering there isn't really anything to show that they turn normal people into homicidal maniacs. I'm not as happy with the whole 'not as intellectually edifying' thing, although I'd kind of agree to the extent of narratives at this point, which is likely what they're on about.

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.

I imagine that the Supreme Court doesn't use e-mail because it's a method of communication highly prone to being breached. Sticking to more analogue methods, I would guess, ensures that they have a tighter control over who sees what while they are working on cases and that nothing gets leaked out of context to the ratings hungry media to turn into a circus.

Hell I think the Russians returning to typewriters and paper to store important documents was the smartest security move any country has made in recent years. It's much harder to steal a document under armed guard than it is to convince Svetlana in accounting to give up her password to the network and then download entire servers worth of data.

Where are you guys getting this whole "Supreme Court is a bunch of dinosaurs and don't understand the modern world" thing? I think those statements are being taken out of context...

From the source:
""It's a challenge for us," Kagan said, while also noting that she herself uses email, goes online and reads blogs."

They use the internet. They understand technology... I believe what she meant was that as a unit, the court does not use email/is behind the times, in how it functions. She wasn't saying that, "We don't get it." She was simply trying to point out what a feat it was for a group of them to get together and play video games. In my opinion, it was just a bit of self-fluffing, to add weight to how big of a deal it was that "THE SCOTUS JUST PLAYED VIDEO GAMES."

That's what I get from reading the source, anyways. Maybe I'm the one taking it out of context, but I highly doubt that she was implying that her and her colleagues are decades behind the times.

****EDIT: I actually just read through the article again, I take back what I just said. They ARE dinosaurs.

Steve the Pocket:

McMullen:
This misses the point that they have a poor understanding of the things they are ruling on. Would you trust people who have no idea what a router, server, or IP address is to make an informed ruling on SOPA?

tangoprime:
Legislators on the other hand... they have no damn business making laws with things they're unfamiliar with or haven't researched. Thankfully, that's how checks and balances works, they make stupid asinine laws, and if it violates our rights, the courts slap it away. This is why people should pay more attention to whom their votes are going, and stop electing dipshits, but I guess that's how representation works, ignorant people elect ignorant representatives.

By those merits, since legislators and judges can't possibly be experts in every single field their jurisdictions cover, should we just not allow governments to have any power at all? That may sound like flamebaiting, but I actually have run into people before who genuinely believe that.

We've a ways to go before coming to that problem. For now, I think a good goal is to not have a person on our House Committee on Science, Space and Technology who calls the Big Bang and Evolution lies from the pit of hell. We're not doing well with that goal, and I think it's a prerequisite to tackling issues like you raised.

SonicWaffle:

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.

Well, i would rather use Email than IM, but it is how it is. like i said you cant be ahead in every regard. unless your a robot. are they robots?

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

Fair enough. Its just that most people thing auditing is just checking bourocracy.

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".

And if i were then able to calculate it all in my head, or ask a specialist to do calculation, or, like these guys, learn to use calculator, it would not really be that bad. technology is just another form of knowledge here, and she is lacking in one regard. we do not know, maybe she is wastly superior in another, for example, knowing pretty much all nuances of current law?

Vrach:

That's the thing though, there is a good possibility of internet going off for a long period of time, it depends where you're from. Personally, in Serbia, even living in the capital, I've had issues myself and know other people who've had week-long internet shortages (got great internet now thankfully, but again, I know others who aren't so lucky)

Even in more developed countries, you have the same issue occasionally, whether it's cause they live in the countryside or in smaller cities (or just in the jurisdiction of a shitty ISP with no alternatives, as is the case in a lot of the US from what I hear). And the whole Xbox argument in my opinion comes down to one thing the same way DRM does - you shouldn't be treated as a criminal for a legitimately owned product or be cut off from your games (for any period of time) for no reason and outside your responsibility.

Anyway, the whole thing's off topic here and I personally don't own or intend to own an Xbox any time soon. Just a thought on the principle of the thing.

I live in Lithuania, which is quite close to Serbia in quality of life onverall. We dont have internet shortages. We used to, then we sued the ISPs for not following on thier contracts. and won. last internet shortage i had was...hmm.... 2 years ago. and it last for around 15 minutes. sure there are planned maintennace, which they tell us a week ahead, and it lasts for 15 minutes or so and happen overnight so most suers wont even notice but thats kinda it. Internet in america is terrible and seems that it is stuck in the 90s. And i blame users for that, for they allow the ISPs to get away with it.

Yes, i compeltely agre that it was a terrible thing to make xbox require internet and all the jazz. but not because people dont have internet. because it is exactly that - a DRM. And i wont buy it nor ever encourage anyone to, even if they went back on that now (tohugh not really sicne you still need internet to download thep atch that disables the internet requirement, nice logic).

McMullen:
This misses the point that they have a poor understanding of the things they are ruling on. Would you trust people who have no idea what a router, server, or IP address is to make an informed ruling on SOPA?

They already did. My country supported SOPA :(

valium:
To be fair, email is sort of being replaced by more efficient and convenient systems. How often do you choose to use a social media messaging system rather than email? Maybe these Justices can get ahead of the curve for once.

Chose? rarely. Have to? often.
Forums are the ulimate internet scializing feature anyway. it is still the best form of internet communication in existence. Incidently, this is oen of the oldest frms of communciation too. so there.

this is hilarious, but great to hear lol

The fact that they don't use email makes sense to me, and I say this as someone who works in the field of information technology and who has configured email solutions. The trick about any technology is that it has to have an appropriate use case, and email is designed to allow for near instantaneous long distance communication of messages of varying length of formality to an arbitrary number of recipients at the same fixed cost. Due to its speed however email tends to demand a more immediate response than a traditional memo, and because of this is often less formal.

The Supreme Court when in session has a collection of seven individuals with equal voting power all in the same building, which is filled with clerks and interns. In the past these clerks and interns have relayed communications and it has, in some cases, been considered an honor to do so. As the number of endpoints for a particular communication never exceeds six for any one justice and the communication must be highly formal and proofed traditional email editors are ill suited for this task.

Which brings us to what often shows up for formal emails, i.e. drafting it in a word processor first along with the appropriate letterhead and having it proofread formally to ensure that no mistakes are made. In the SCOTUS' case they simply choose to transmit these using intern-net rather than using their own intranet mail server.

Likewise for those unfamiliar with how decisions are handed down by the court a single justice writes the majority opinion, and other justices can either join the opinion, write a concurring opinion or write a dissenting opinion (other justices can also join in a dissent). Also please remember, that these opinions are not delivered instantly. The court deliberates for several months after hearing the oral argument for a case and having all of the parties file before handing down a decision. So the fact that it takes Justice Kagan's memo an extra ten minutes to reach Justice Ginsberg's is a fairly minor issue given that they will end up talking about the facts of the case at lunch, and both are busy going over prior case law anyways.

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.

The first ever e-mail was sent on ARPANET in 1971, which really says quite a lot about them...

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

I want this so much. Couldn't hurt their public image, either.

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.

In their defense, I never check my email. Even when I get on it, I usually only skim the inbox to see if anything that isn't spam was sent to me. If you know me, you'll call or text me on my cell phone. Even then, I might miss you if I am at work or simply left my phone in another room. The absolute worst way to get in touch with me is email. Unless I have a reason to check it, I don't really bother.

You'd probably be better off messaging me on Escapist than emailing me.

I just keep thinking of them playing bioshock and throwing bees at enemies. Not sure why, just was the first thought I had. Of course, them playing bioshock probably would have been good to support the idea of art as well, so maybe it is wishful thinking?

runic knight:
I just keep thinking of them playing bioshock and throwing bees at enemies. Not sure why, just was the first thought I had. Of course, them playing bioshock probably would have been good to support the idea of art as well, so maybe it is wishful thinking?

It seems to me more like clubbing random dudes into trees with purple giant dildo bats to the beat of camp 80's pop songs.

Well that's good to hear. I'm glad these people had enough common sense to actually play the games before they decide whether or not they should be banned.

I will say though, the fact they don't seem to use e-mail, especially in this day and age, is kinda weird. Kinda odd that people with such power are a bit behind on the times.

I figured that's what they did back in that ruling. They probably found a bunch of video games notorious for "violence," played them, and laughed at the awkward and ineffectual violence. Most video game violence is cartoony and awkward, never for the sake of being offensive like what the media wants people to think. The only 2 who ruled against it probably stuck to the media's interpretation but it all comes back to the cycle of new art mediums.

Those judges probably remember when rock n' roll or even jazz was supposed to be the devil's music but liked it anyway. But 2 of them chose to be like the generation that demonized those two musical art genres.

History repeats itself, different names, same problem.

Trippy Turtle:
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?!"

Seconding this. This would have been fun to watch.

Mind you...I am still disappoint Jack Black didn't make one as a Pandarian Monk, but that's just me.

I can't stop laughing at the idea of Ginsburg playing something gory like Prototype.

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.

Sweet. That's a rather cool image. Or playing Skyrim or another RPG for hours on end. XD Also,because I thought this joke appropriate: "One of us,one of us." LOL

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