Mario, Pokemon Represent Among Hundreds At U.S Supreme Court

Illustration for article titled Mario, Pokemon Represent Among Hundreds At U.S Supreme Court

People started lining up at 5 a.m. today in front of the U.S. Supreme Court for a chance to hear arguments in a landmark case that will decide whether video games should be afforded First Amendment protection.


Among the more than 200 present were quite a few video game supporters. The rally and line-up to get in also included those on the side of California assemblyman Leland Yee, a child psychologist who wrote a bill in 2005 that would fine a retailer $1,000 for selling really violent games to kids. California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed it into law later that year.

Only 50 people are allowed into the court's gallery, according to the court's press office.

While we won't be hearing any decisions today we will likely gain insight into why the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court felt it was necessary to take on The State of California vs. The Entertainment Merchants Association and Entertainment Software Association as one of the relatively few cases they hear in a given year.

If you're a bit confused about why this is so important a case, read Totilo's excellent break down here.

The oral arguments wrap up at 11 a.m. eastern, our man on the ground and in the gallery, Stephen Totilo, will be filing a story summarizing the questions asked and answers given during the hearing.


Stay tuned and go vote.

Update: The hearings have ended. It sounds as if the Justices of the Supreme Court of the U.S. pressed California a bit harder than they did the video game industry. Here's our right up of what happened.




I have to laugh every time I see people trotting out the first amendment in this case, because it has nothing to do with abridging freedom of speech or expression. Seems like every time people want to protest something in this country they trot out the first amendment, whether or not it's relevant. The law isn't proposing a ban on the creation, sale or playing of violent games- just selling them to minors.

Is it fair to classify exceedingly violent games like Manhunt the same as pornography? Is there legal and scientific justification to place more restrictions on the sale of gratuitously gory games than there are on gory movies? Maybe, maybe not, but for God's sake, people- argue the proper point. Ranting about the first amendment make you look like a buffoon who has no idea what the Bill of Rights says.