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High Court's Video Game Case Provides Unintentional Comedy

U.S. Supreme Court arguments over video games are unusual, but on Tuesday of this week, the Court heard oral argument in Schwarzenegger v. Entertainment Merchants Assn. In the Schwarzenegger case (good name for a case!), the Court will determine whether regulation of violent video games infringes upon free speech.

The blawgosphere and even the mainstream media have, not surprisingly, taken an interest in the case. THR, Esq. compiled an interesting digest of the "unintentionally funniest lines" from the argument, which resulted from the justices wrestling with the meaning of things like Mortal Kombat.  Some of THR, Esq.'s favorites include:

  • Justice Alito's "original intent"-related comment: "I think what Justice Scalia wants to know is what James Madison thought about video games. Did he enjoy them?"
  • Justice Kagan's nod to her game-playing law clerks: "You think Mortal Kombat is prohibited by this statute? It's a candidate, meaning, a reasonable jury could find that Mortal Kombat, which is an iconic game, which I am sure half of the clerks who work for us spent considerable amount of time in their adolescence playing."
  • Justice Sotomayor invoking some old-school cartoon violence: "One of the studies, the Anderson study, says that the effect of violence is the same for a Bugs Bunny episode as it is for a violent video. So can the legislature now, because it has that study, say we can outlaw Bugs Bunny?"

The Daily Show's Jon Stewart and his colleague John Hodgman also took a shot at explaining the case. Check out the video below (via South Florida Lawyers) for Hodgman's "pro-free speech" take on the matter.


The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c
You're Welcome - Violent Video Games
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Rally to Restore Sanity

Posted by Bruce Carton on November 5, 2010 at 12:47 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)


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