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Mock Trial Calls Violent Games Case For California

Illustration for article titled Mock Trial Calls Violent Games Case For California

A panel comprised of some of the nation's pre-eminent jurists, legal scholars and court observers pondered California's violent video games statute, which goes before the Supreme Court Nov. 2, and concluded the high court will decide 6-3 for California.

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Details are sparse, provided to Game Politics by an attendee of the moot court this weekend at the College of William & Mary's Law School. The panelists included Judge Jeffrey Sutton of the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, Beth Brinkman, a deputy assistant attorney general in the U.S. Department of Justice, Erwin Cherminsky, dean of the School of Law at the University of California, Irvine; and journalists Adam Liptak of The New York Times, Jess Bravin of The Wall Street Journal, and Joan Biskupic of USA Today.

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A participant attending the mock trial told Game Politics that few of the panelists had much understanding of the ESRB rating system.

"The only game brought up during the proceedings was Postal, which was mentioned several times," Game Politics wrote, "with an emphasis placed on the game's ability to let players kill children and pee on corpses, 'with the implication that other video games have similar content.'"

Given that, it was hardly surprising that the moot court called it 6-3 for California. Let's hope the actual justices do their homework better.

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DISCUSSION

I love me some free speech, but I still don't know why this is such a big deal. Everyone agrees that there are some games that kids just should not play. As it stands now, most places don't sell M games to minors anyway. I mean, it seems to me (the really, really, REALLY uneducated consumer) that there's a bunch of drama simply because they're trying to mess with out beloved gaming industry, and not because there is any real issue with this statute. Am I wrong?