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Violent Video Game Arguments Recap

Tuesday, in addition to being Election Day, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Schwarzenegger v. EMA. Speculation is rife as to the actual ruling, but many commentators are saying that the Justices seemed interested in letting “common sense” govern the issue. The Court seems poised, it is said, to state the general principle that video games MAY be regulated by the states, but that California’s law did so with too many restrictions.

What does this mean for the video game industry? Well, it could mean that states try to tweak their regulations to more narrowly describe the types of video games they want regulated. Or it could mean that the Court will issue another Bilski opinion, where it was expected to overturn years of patent interpretation and prosecution, and instead only stated that Bilski’s patent was invalid. In other words, the Court could propose an actual, practical test for the regulation of video games, or lacking the majority to carry the opinion, they could have 9 Justices agree that California’s law is too broad and vague, and be done with it there.

And now for the 9-12 months of speculation by the press before the opinion actually issues. For some great early speculation, based on the questions and the tone of voice of the Justices, check out the SCOTUSBlog’s Argument Recap.

Posted in Wednesday: Current Issues.

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