Josh Blackman has posted some fascinating excerpts from the oral argument in Schwarzenegger v. EMA, the violent video games case. I’ll leave the analytical heavy lifting to our resident free speech experts, such as Eugene. My own view (uncharacteristically in line with conventional wisdom) is that the state government should lose this case and probably will.
On a lighter note, I can’t resist noting the role of Vulcans in a question by Justice Sotomayor:
JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR: Would a video game that portrayed a Vulcan as opposed to a human being, being maimed and tortured, would that be covered by the act?
Perhaps California’s lawyer could have argued that video game portrayals of torture of Vulcans are distinguishable from those that depict torture of humans on the grounds that Vulcans have much stronger constitutions and higher pain thresholds. To the extent that Trekkie video game players recognize this, they would be less likely to be inspired to engage in real-word torture of humans as a result of playing the game.