Supreme Court played games before making landmark decision

Justice Elena Kagan says "it was kind of hilarious" when not-so-technologically savvy high court played games before decision.

The United States Supreme Court actually played games before making its historic decision in summer 2011 that ruled games are protected free speech under the First Amendment.

Justice Elena Kagan revealed the news this week during an appearance in Providence, Rhode Island attended by the Associated Press.

Kagan said her colleagues on the bench are "not necessarily the most technologically sophisticated people" and will often send paper messages to each other instead of emails.

When the Supreme Court played games, then, Kagan recalled that "it was kind of hilarious."

Kagan did not say which games the Supreme Court played prior to its high-profile June 2011 Brown vs. EMA ruling. CNN reports that the court was sent copies of Resident Evil 4 and the 2010 Medal of Honor reboot.

Following the ruling, Kagan acknowledged that she "sweated" the decision "mightily."

Under the law, which never took effect, retailers that sold such games would be subject to a $1,000 fine. The bill would also have required "violent" video games to bear a two-inch-by-two-inch sticker with a "solid white '18' outlined in black" on their front covers.

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Eddie Makuch

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.
256 comments
blaze_boy30
blaze_boy30

Anyone else want the Supreme Court to release Let's Play videos? That ought to be interesting.

Ryderych
Ryderych

Examine the statistics Activision released regarding Call of Duty play.  Add in statistics for Halo and Gears of War.  If the "common sense" theories about violent games were valid, then platoons of crazed video gamers armed with automatic weapons should be slaughtering innocents in droves.  They aren't. 

Violent games, and violent media in general, affect perceptions of violent behavior  But parents are responsible for controlling what content their minor children see, and even if they can't always control access, they're still responsible for helping children respond to such content in a socially responsible manner.  Parents won't always succeed, but they must act nonetheless.

My oldest son (33) put it this way: "You weren't the best parents, but you weren't the worst either.  When you said 'Don't watch MTV until I say you're old enough,' then we didn't.  And you made sure we didn't.'"

We'll always be confronted with people like Adam Lanza, but developers and retailers of violent video games aren't responsible for his behavior.  Ultimately, parents aren't either.  But no-one has a better opportunity to intervene.  Parents: Do your jobs.

frylock1987
frylock1987

Just the fact that none of them played a game untl that decision says a whole lot about our our Government today works


"Lets just make hate on this and make a law against it or for it without actually trying it out for our selves and seeing what the problem is"

Sgtcrispy
Sgtcrispy

@Acerv12340 @Sgtcrispy @frylock1987 But the article is about the Supreme Court specifically, and he cited their lack of knowledge about video games as representative of the entire government. 

DidymusRULES
DidymusRULES

There are multiple conflicting studies in regards to video game being linked to aggressive behavior...

Personally I think that video games effect on how our morality develops. Video games militarizing players... training them to think that war is fun... then having them fight faceless Arabs and leading the player to associate these Arabs as "terrorists." Millenniums of  propaganda prove that if you institutionalize violence you'll have your citizens trying to massacre each other. Heck the church at one point tried to institutionalize antisemitism to force the conversion of their Jewish population... it was so effective that the citizens were trying to lynch the so called "sub-human monsters" that the church had demonized so that they could force their conversion. The church in a sense had institutionalized antisemitism turning it into a GAME so that the said population could be persecuted and FORCED INTO CONVERSION. Only problem was that it was too effective... and the church had to protect the people they were demonizing....

Video games, like what the church had done, is institutionalizing violence. There's even one game where you run around in a labyrinth chopping people up with an axe and sawing people in half with a chainsaw (manhunt.) There's a reason why they put "DO NOT ATTEMPT" or "DRAMATIZATION" at the bottom of commercials. People are suggestible. People are easily scammed... because the commercial was dramatizing a car that could GLIDE off the pavement...

rasputin177
rasputin177

@DidymusRULES I liked it based on your first paragraph but did not agree with where you went after that. Of course video games like any art form influence society.

But I see a major difference between "War" games that are often marketed as "realistic" and deal with real world issues and "power fantasy" games. I mean if a person is mentally ill then I can see them being influenced by both, but healthy mature gamers not so much. No matter how many "chainsaw" games they play, (if they have even a slight grip on reality) they will realize it will never be acceptable to go around with a chainsaw decapitating people.

DidymusRULES
DidymusRULES

@rasputin177 Sorry to say but people can be quite stupid sometimes. 10,000+ years of propaganda can confuse even the smartest people, institutionalize the violence, and turn them into aggressive warriors. There's a reason why the military goes to video game developers.

Albelnox0
Albelnox0

@DidymusRULES  Yes every child in the world is serial killer and is out killer everyone. we get it.

DidymusRULES
DidymusRULES

@Albelnox0 When did I say that? I said it INFLUENCED THE BEHAVIOR... I didn't say it was inevitable...

I just provided 10,000 years of history where the state institutionalized the violence to produce a thoughtless population that murders on impulse... 

Video games definitely make people more aggressive.

JimmeyBurrows
JimmeyBurrows

@DidymusRULES Technically everyone is influenced in some way by everything, even if we don't want to admit it or realise it... But what's your point? 

Dictatroll
Dictatroll

Play shooters...and not play games like ICO and The Shadow of the Colossus.  

blackothh
blackothh

I wonder what games they played

MysteryJ0ker
MysteryJ0ker

@enoslives7 

Last I checked, Canada, Mexico and Saudi Arabia weren't poor.  But hey, you're apparently the expert here! Who am I to question such vastly superior knowledge?!? *sarcasm*

DrKill09
DrKill09

Okay, I said it before, and I'll say it again.  THE GAMES ARE 17+, not 18+.  I don't like the ESRB, but you have no right to subvert their rating system. 

DrKill09
DrKill09

They have as much right playing video games as they did judging gangsta rap and shock rock in the late 80s early 90s...

I still stand by the belief that the ESRB needs to have real gamers judge games, and not just watch videos. 

Gravity_Slave
Gravity_Slave

I'm glad they tried to play a few games before making a decision but you'd think they'd have gave them something a little newer than RE4 and MoH.  I'm still amazed and sickened by allowing people who know nothing of an area can make deep decisions about other peoples interests.  That'd be like letting inner-city high school pot heads determine the rules for yacht clubs and real estate trade. Its not in their realm of understanding and comprehension.

June-GS
June-GS

Good. It's only right that they did.

By the way, assuming CNN is correct, way to represent, RE4 and MoH! They'll probably never admit to it, but I'm sure the Justices had fun. Which is what we gamers are all about at the end of the day. And they finally got it. That's why they ruled the way they did.

For all the flaws people say about you guys, you did right by us in the end. GG.

twisted_outlaw
twisted_outlaw

Wow. I can't believe that they almost forced this nonsense on us. 

Our government needs to back the fuck off. Telling people what they can and can't do is horrendous. And fining any retailer that sells the game? Wow. Talk about a "free marketplace"

BamaGoatt
BamaGoatt

@twisted_outlaw I agree but technically not our government as justices are appointed. But on a different note can't wait to hear about those epic gaming sessions now that they are addicted lol.

PoofMaester
PoofMaester

@BamaGoatt Justices are appointed by the President, and are confirmed by the senate. They can also be a justice for life.... Yeah... nothing wrong with that... at all... *insert sarcasm*

SkytheWiz1
SkytheWiz1

Are video games evil? No. Can they push bad thoughts on children? Potentially.
But is it the government's position to become a parent? No.

If your dog attacks someone, you're responsible.
If the brakes fail on your car (even when you're not there) and it rolls and hits someone/something, you're responsible.
If your business burns down and someone dies inside because you didn't meet fire safety standards, you can be held responsible.
If a child acts up at the grocery store, don't our minds blame the parents?
So why don't we hold parents - who have the legal responsibility to take care of their underage children - responsible for the actions of their children?

Parents should be distinguishing the differences from right/wrong, reality/video games - not our government.

DidymusRULES
DidymusRULES

@SkytheWiz1 Oh geez. You don't understand government. I have seen way too many parents who should've been allowed to breed... 

We need standards in place so that every parent knows what they're supposed to do... instead of winging it. It's irresponsible to let a 12 year old play a video game where you fight faceless Arabs and you get points for shooting them in the face. You're training said children to be serial killers. 

Don't agree? Well let's look at how CHILDREN DEVELOP SHALL WE? I baby sat children that see their parents get into fist fights all the time... as a result they punched me in the crotch over and over.... children pick up violent behaviors NO MATTER WHAT. Doesn't matter what the parents tell them. They'll still incorporate that aggressive tenancy subconsciously so this whole crap of "OH PARENT JUST TELL THEM THAT IT BAD" is stupid. Even intelligent people sometimes forget about common sense (look at Doctor Oz and him romanticizing primitism or saying that organic arsenic is "bad" and him confusing it with inorganic arsenic. He let his emotions get ahead of the scientific method... as a result Joseph Mercola is on his show regularly...)

Basically even intelligent people sometimes forget about common sense.. so I'm not buying this crap that this problem is going to be fixed with parenting alone.

PoofMaester
PoofMaester

@DidymusRULES @SkytheWiz1 I played those type of games when i was 12 (Among with others) I now suddenly feel the need to go murder another human being and then do it again and again to others, and since i have the training from those video games, i can do it right?... Now.. wheres my bowie knife?....

stan_boyd
stan_boyd

@MysteryJ0ker @YearoftheSnake5 @SkytheWiz1 also alot of parents don't know anything about video games, my grandmother bought me mortal kombat when I was like 10 years old because she didn't know I would be able to rip someones head off with the spine still attached, she knew nothing other than on the back of the case there was a ninja in picture and that I liked ninja's she thought video games were meant for kids cause all she had ever seen was games like mario and sonic.

SkytheWiz1
SkytheWiz1

@DidymusRULES @SkytheWiz1 But the parents of today are the people who were playing video games back when Doom and Mortal Kombat came out. We know what mature means.

I've played violent video games since I was six. I'm twenty-three. I had no restrictions on what I wanted to watch or play. But I had parents who made sure I understood the difference and, when I misbehaved, I was punished.

Honestly, I think the main issue today is that parents care more about being their child's friend, rather than their parent. They're less concerned about rules and structure.

But I think they're the ones that should be held accountable. Hell, even when they really did begin enforcing age restrictions on Mature games, you could still find 10-11 year olds playing Call of Duty, Battlefield, Saints Row, Grand Theft Auto...