July 30, 2017 - Prof. Angela Campbell Publishes New Article on Video Games at the Supreme Court

Georgetown Law's Angela Campbell, a Faculty Director of the Tech Institute and head of Georgetown's IPR Clinic for Communications & Technology, published a new article this month on the Supreme Court's 2012 ruling in the video game case Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Ass'n.  

The article writes:

"In the five years since the Supreme Court found unconstitutional a California statute prohibiting the sale of ultra-violent video games to minors in Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Ass'n, not a single jurisdiction has passed a law regulating the sale of violent video games to minors. The absence of legislation is striking in light of several subsequent and highly publicized shootings linked to violent video games. For example, after Adam Lanza shot and killed twenty elementary school students in Newtown, Connecticut, in December 2012, it was widely reported that Lanza spent most of his day in the basement playing violent video games such as Call of Duty. [. . .]

"Much of the scholarly commentary before and after the Brown decision focused on whether social science research shows violent video games "cause" violence or other harmful effects in the real world. . . Other scholarship has examined whether courts correctly understand the scientific evidence. One problem was simply the large volume of research. Also, judges and lawyers lacked the training and background knowledge to understand scientific literature. This article focuses on the role of the lawyers using the framework described by Professor Richard J. Lazarus in his 2008 article, Advocacy Matters Before and Within the Supreme Court: Transforming the Court by Transforming the Bar. Lazarus argues the modern Supreme Court bar has come to be dominated by a small number of Supreme Court specialists. Consistent with Lazarus's finding, this Article shows the video game industry's representation by a Supreme Court specialist in Brown gave it advantages over California that likely affected the outcome of the case." 

The full article appears at 95 Nebr. L. Rev. 965, and is also available here.

Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters

Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters