A Legal Analysis of Brown v. EMA

July 8, 2011 -

            No doubt everyone has heard the good news out of the Supreme Court last week. Video games are saved from government censorship based on violent content, California’s law prohibiting the sale of violent video games to minors is invalid, good times had by all. This article is for those curious as to the how and why of this outcome, and will take readers through the Court’s principal opinion written by Justice Scalia (which is the governing law and will be used as precedent everywhere in the US from now on) as well as touch on a few points from other opinions penned by other Justices.

 

Lead Counsel In SCOTUS Violent Games Case Lays Out Arguments

October 7, 2010 -

The lead counsel for the video game industry in the upcoming Supreme Court fight against California’s proposed violent video game restrictions outlined the problems with the state’s legal arguments in a recent public appearance.

Speaking at an intellectual property forum at Chicago-Kent University last week, Jenner and Block LLP Partner Paul M. Smith said that no matter how a state defines "extreme" violence in such laws, they will run into constitutional problems with vagueness.

"I've litigated nine cases in a row where states have tried to define the category nine different ways – and they always lose when they make this case because violence is considered a perfectly appropriate and normal part of what we give our kids to see starting from a very young age," he said.

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Tulsa Oklahoma Looking To Place Video Game Stores Under Same Regulations As Pawn Shops

February 14, 2014 - E. Zachary Knight

It is no secret that theft is a big problem in any part of the world. It is something that we as humans have been battling for our entire existence. The city of Tulsa Oklahoma recognizes how hard this battle is and is looking to give law enforcement more tools to work with in their fight against theft.

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Mark DeLoura to Take Part in Fireside Chat During GamesBeat 2013

October 28, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

One of the many guests taking part in this year's GamesBeat 2013 two-day conference is Mark DeLoura, the former video game executive and technologist who went to Washington to work for the Obama Administration. DeLoura is senior advisor on digital media for the White House Office of Science and Technology. When he was in the games industry he worked in executive roles at such companies as Sony, Nintendo, Google, Ubisoft, and THQ.

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Gamers Solve HIV Puzzle in Ten Days

October 18, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Scientists at the University of Washington have been trying to decipher the complex structure of an enzyme that "exhibits behavior similar to that of an enzyme key in the development of AIDS from an HIV infection" for the last decade. They believed that it likely played a critical role in finding a cure for the disease. But gamers playing spatial game Foldit have managed to collectively determine the enzyme’s structure in a mere ten days.

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Games as a Tool for Teaching Children Empathy

October 15, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

New York news station CBS 2 offers an interesting report on the use of video games (Games for Change as we like to call them) to teach children (and adults) about the importance of empathy. "That Dragon, Cancer" and "Papers, Please" are examples of games that deal with subject matter that puts ordinary people in seemingly insurmountable situations. By putting players in the shoes of someone in such situations, experts say that young people can learn to show a bit more empathy towards their fellow man.

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ESA Launches Fellowship for 'Young Developers of Color'

August 21, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) announced a partnership with the Black Association for Science and Engineering, the Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF), HHF's Leaders on the Fast Track (LOFT) and other groups to create the ESA Loft Video Game Innovation Fellowship.

Supreme Court Justice Kagan Played Video Games to Prepare for Brown v. EMA

August 21, 2013 - James Fudge

There's a common perception that the Supreme Court justices rely too heavily on the opinions of their younger staffers when it comes to technology. But a story on Talking Points Memo reveals that at least some of the justices are trying a bit harder to learn things on their own - particularly when it comes to technology that is completely foreign to them.

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Funding Campaign Launches for Choice: Texas, a Game about Pro-Choice

August 19, 2013 - James Fudge

An IndieGoGo fundraising campaign hopes to raise $9,250 to fund competition of a game about abortion rights in Texas called Choice: Texas. Choice: Texas is described by its creators as an interactive fiction game about abortion access in the Lone Star state, and will be made available for free online when it is completed. The game is the creation of Allyson Whipple (writer, editor, and poet) and Carly Kocurek (writer and cultural historian) with the help of illustrator Grace Jennings.

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Kansas Supreme Court, Bar Association Promote iCivics

August 16, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

The Kansas Supreme Court and Kansas Bar Association announced support for promoting the use of retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's educational video games in schools to teach students lessons about civics. Both the court and the association for lawyers in the state are advocating for the use of O'Connor's iCivics to teach children how various branches of government work.

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Watch Dogs: A Glimpse at our Possible Future?

June 14, 2013 -

Ubisoft's Watch Dogs couldn't be more topical and timely than at this very moment. With the revelation that the NSA is allegedly collecting data from our Internet activity on sites like Google and Facebook and tracking the data of Americans' mobile phones, Watch Dogs is like this generation's cautionary tale on government tyranny (think 1984 or Fahrenheit 451).

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Experts: Chris Christie's Video Game Proposals Would Face Uphill Legal Battles

April 24, 2013 -

While New Jersey Governor Chris Christie may not let his children play Call of Duty or any other mature rated games, and even though retailers like GameStop and the ESRB work hand-in-hand to make sure his children can't even buy those games without some sort of identification to prove their age, it hasn't stopped the governor from convening a task force and proposing new laws that would require that parents give permission to buy the games children can't get their hands on.

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Super Podcast Action Committee - Episode 39

February 4, 2013 -

This week's show focuses on indie developers and an excellent editorial on various bills aimed at video game violence. This week hosts Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight talk about an indie game that got a Canadian gentleman fired from his day job, another indie developer calling Kickstarter stretch goals "bullsh*t," and a discussion on this Popcults.com editorial. All this and the latest GamePolitics poll results await in Episode 39.

Children's Rights Advocate and Attorney: Video Games Are Not The Problem

January 18, 2013 -

Children's rights advocate and attorney Paul Mones (@MonesPaul on Twitter) delivers a "Perry Mason moment" in a new editorial over at the Huffington Post titled "Video Games Hold No Answers." In it Mones notes that making a connection between violent crimes committed by teens based on the video games, movies, or even mu

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'The Underground Railroad in the Ohio Valley River' Hopes to Teach Fourth Graders About Slavery in America

January 11, 2013 -

Ball State University (in Muncie, Indiana) professor Ronald Morris and computer science professor Paul Gestwicki have teamed up with graduate students to create a Unity-based game that teaches fourth grade students about the Underground Railroad (thanks to Polygon). The game is called The Underground Railroad in the Ohio Valley River and puts students in the shoes of a runaway slave who must make his or her way to Canada where they can live a free life.

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ACLU Warns of Rush to Blame Video Games for Newtown Shooting

December 24, 2012 -

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has weighed in on the rush to place the blame on video games as a cause for the Newtown, Connecticut shootings that resulted in the death of 20 children and six adults. ACLU Legislative Counsel Gabe Rottman wrote on the group's web site that rushing to blame violent video games will lead to "the worst facts, and they will make the worst laws if we let them."

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Canton Police Buy Expensive Game Simulation for Training

November 19, 2012 -

The 86-officer strong police department in Canton, Ohio is purchasing video game-like simulation technology called the MILO Range Pro 4 system. Developed and sold by IES Interactive Training, the MILO Range Pro 4 system offers more than 500 crime-scene scenarios to improve police skills in the field - from talking a suspect down in a threatening situation to last resort tactics like shooting suspects. The police department expects to have its officers using the system by sometime early next year.

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The Law of Digital Games Begins Today in Boston

November 5, 2012 -

The two-day conference, The Law of Digital Games kicks off today at the Seaport Boston Hotel in Boston, MA. The event explores the intersection of video gaming and the law and how each can have an impact on the other in both positive and negative ways. Topics include everything from free-to-play games and hiring and agent to user privacy and protections.

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The War Z Copies League of Legends TOS

October 17, 2012 -

Arktos Entertainment Group, the makers of the MMO The War Z, had an embarrassing moment this week as users on this Reddit thread revealed that the company copied the League of Legends terms of service agreement and inserted it into their game. Oops. This is particularly embarrassing because the company was founded by a Riot Games employee Sergey Titov...

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Kixeye CEO Blasts Zynga as Former CityVille GM Faces Setback in Court

October 17, 2012 -

While Kixeye has taken some heat recently for being accused of having a culture of institutional racism, the social developer has been fighting Zynga on another front. Zynga sued former CityVille general manager Alan Patmore, claiming that when he left the firm he took 763 confidential files from Zynga containing game designs from teams in the company.

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'Law of the Game' Heads to Dublin for Panel Discussion on Online Gambling

September 27, 2012 -

Mark Methenitis, proprietor of the wonderful Law of the Game blog, will be crossing the pond to attend the International Bar Association Annual Conference in Dublin, Ireland (Sept. 30 - Oct. 5).

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Valve Changes Steam Subscriber Agreement to Eliminate Class Actions, Add Mandatory Arbitration

August 1, 2012 -

In an announcement made this morning over at the official Steam web site Valve Software revealed a change to its Steam Subscriber Agreement that makes it so that subscribers can no longer file class action lawsuits against the company (Federal Arbitration Act). Under the terms of the new agreement, Steam users agree not to form a class action lawsuit against the company, using a "dispute resolution" process to deal with complaints on an individual basis (arbitration).

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Recreating Crime Scenes Through Software: IC-CRIME

July 25, 2012 -

Using the Unity 3D game development engine, researchers from North Carolina State (who are leading the development), Arizona State University, and Indiana University, have developed a simulation that allows crime scene investigators to look at a crime scene from multiple angles.

Legal Experts: Colorado Shooting Lawsuits Likely to Fail

July 23, 2012 -

Families of victims and survivors of the deadly shooting at the Dark Knight Rises opening movie who might want to sue the film studio Warner Bros or other companies such as AMC theaters, but experts say that history shows these lawsuits don't tend to get very far because it's tough to prove a liability. The reason that such lawsuits usually fall flat is because companies are rarely held liable for "intentional crimes of non-employees" and the ruling in Brown v.

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White House Endorses Cybersecurity Bill

July 20, 2012 -

President Barack Obama yesterday urged members of the U.S. Senate to pass the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 and encouraged representatives of Congress to draft and pass a similar bill quickly, saying:

Sandra Day O'Connor's 'Counties Work' Game Launches

May 3, 2012 -

The nonprofit started by retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor has launched an online game to teach children about their local government. O'Connor is spending her time in retirement pushing the idea that children and Americans in general need to learn more about their state, local, and federal governments. The game is called Counties Work, and was put together by O'Connor's group iCivics and the National Association of Counties.

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Washington State Offers Virtual Worlds Crime Course to Law Enforcement

April 30, 2012 -

Local and State Law enforcement and parole officers in Washington are invited to take part in a one-day training program that deals with crimes in virtual worlds. The course is the result of a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance to Drakontas and Drexel University.

The free one-day course, "Addressing Crime in Virtual Worlds & Online Gaming Worlds," aims to help law enforcement personnel "identify, investigate, and prevent crimes involving virtual worlds and online video game worlds."

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Video Game Law, 2nd Edition Released

April 23, 2012 -

Video Game Law, 2nd Edition is now available, for those interested in the new book that delves into the various legal issues that the videogame industry faces on a regular basis. The book was written by Jon Festinger, Q.C., Chris Metcalfe & Roch and Ripley, and published by LexisNexis Canada.

The $80, 300-page paperback covers the overlap amongst various issues including intellectual property law, freedom of speech issues, defamation, privacy issues, best practices for licensing, employment issues, and more.

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2012 Games for Change Festival Details

April 19, 2012 -

This year's Games for Change Festival is set for June 18-20 in New York City. The event dedicated to promoting social change through video games will offer plenty of activities this year including case studies, roundtables, lectures, demos, and more. Featured speakers for this year's event include Jane McGonigal, New York Times bestselling author (Grand Theft Childhood) and co-founder of SuperBetter Labs; leading researcher, Dr.

Epic and Virtual Heroes Team Up for Unreal Government Network

March 27, 2012 -

Epic Games has inked a long-term deal with Virtual Heroes, a division of Applied Research Associates, Inc. (ARA). The Virtual Heroes Division of Applied Research Associates creates collaborative interactive learning solutions for healthcare, federal systems, and corporate training markets. Virtual Heroes will use Unreal Engine technology to create interactive educational and training software to be used by various U.S. government departments and agencies.

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Poll

Is King right? Should all games adopt the free-to-play model?:

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Andrew EisenAs it happens, Chinatown Wars is the only GTA game I've played.04/19/2014 - 10:43am
Papa MidnightWith GTA5 (to date) failing to even provide indication of a PC release, I'm realising that this might be the first GTA game that I have not played (outside of Chinatown Wars) since the series inception.04/19/2014 - 8:14am
IanCSo im guessing a bunch of edutainment games, which a lot of people elsewhere are going gaga over, dot count as classics? Okay. If you don't mind me, i have a sudden urge to play Putt Putt....04/19/2014 - 6:15am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/04/18/playstation-99-cent-sale-discounts-tokyo-jungle-super-stardust/ Weekend long PSN flash sale. So much stuff is 99 cents for the rest of the weekend.04/18/2014 - 5:59pm
Adam802http://www.polygon.com/2014/4/18/5627928/newtown-video-game-addiction-forum04/18/2014 - 4:14pm
Matthew Wilsonit is a video talking about why certain games/products/consoles do well, and others do not. he back it up with solid research.04/18/2014 - 3:56pm
Andrew EisenI'm not keen on blind links. What is it?04/18/2014 - 3:45pm
Matthew Wilsonthis is worth a whatch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MyXcr6sDRtw&list=PL35FE5C4B157509C904/18/2014 - 3:43pm
MaskedPixelanteNumber 3: Night Dive was brought to the attention of the public by a massive game recovery, and yet most of their released catalogue consists of games that other people did the hard work of getting re-released.04/17/2014 - 8:46pm
MaskedPixelanteNumber 2: If Humongous Entertainment wanted their stuff on Steam, why didn't they talk to their parent company, which does have a number of games published on Steam?04/17/2014 - 8:45pm
MaskedPixelanteNumber 1: When Night Dive spent the better part of a year teasing the return of true classics, having their big content dump be edutainment is kind of a kick in the stomach.04/17/2014 - 8:44pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.giantbomb.com/articles/jeff-gerstmann-heads-to-new-york-takes-questions/1100-4900/ He talks about the future games press and the games industry. It is worth your time even though it is a bit long, and stay for the QA. There are some good QA04/17/2014 - 5:28pm
IanCErm so they shouldn't sell edutainment at all? Why?04/17/2014 - 4:42pm
MaskedPixelanteNot that linkable, go onto Steam and there's stuff like Pajama Sam on the front-page, courtesy of Night Dive.04/17/2014 - 4:13pm
Andrew EisenOkay, again, please, please, PLEASE get in a habit of linking to whatever you're talking about.04/17/2014 - 4:05pm
MaskedPixelanteAnother round of Night Dive teasing and promising turns out to be stupid edutainment games. Thanks for wasting all our time, guys. See you never.04/17/2014 - 3:44pm
Matthew WilsonAgain the consequences were not only foreseeable, but very likely. anyone who understood supply demand curvs knew that was going to happen. SF has been a econ/trade hub for the last hundred years.04/17/2014 - 2:45pm
Andrew EisenMixedPixelante - Would you like to expand on that?04/17/2014 - 2:43pm
MaskedPixelanteWell, I am officially done with Night Dive Studios. Unless they can bring something worthwhile back, I'm never buying another game from them.04/17/2014 - 2:29pm
PHX Corphttp://www.msnbc.com/ronan-farrow/watch/video-games-continue-to-break-the-mold-229561923638 Ronan Farrow Daily on Video games breaking the mold04/17/2014 - 2:13pm
 

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