So the state of California is defending an asinine law before the US Supreme court that would allow the state to ban violent videogames. Via Geekology
, it appears the deliberations are not going well for the state. Some excerpts from the transcript
JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR: I don't think; is that answering Justice Kagan's question? 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?...
MR. MORAZZINI: Justice Sotomayor, cartoons do not depart from the established norms to a level of violence to which children have been historically exposed to. We believe the level of violence in these video games-
JUSTICE SCALIA: That same argument could have been made when movies first came out. They could have said, oh, we've had violence in Grimm's fairy tales, but we've never had it live on the screen. I mean, every time there's a new technology, you can make that argument.
Bonus sensibility from Justice Scalia (there's a sentence I don't use often):
JUSTICE SCALIA: I'm not concerned about the jury judging. I'm concerned about the producer of the games who has to know what he has to do in order to comply with the law. And you are telling me, well a jury can -- of course a jury can make up its mind, I'm sure. But a law that has criminal penalties has to be clear. And how is the manufacturer to know whether a particular violent game is covered or not?
Does he convene his own jury and try it before -- you know, I really wouldn't know what to do as a manufacturer.
Of course, the same basic principle applies to the ever-expanding field of copyrights, but that's another topic...
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