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Plugged In

The gaming habits of The Supreme Court

Plugged In

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(Credit: Getty Images)

The Justices of the Supreme Court may not e-mail each other, but that doesn't mean they don't know their way around technology.

In a new story on Talking Points Memo, Justice Elena Kagan says the Court studied up for the famous Brown v. EMA case, which resulted in the gaming industry's First Amendment protections being made crystal clear, by sitting down and trying out these games everyone was talking about.

It went about as you'd expect.

“It was kind of hilarious,” she said.

That's not surprising. While Kagan, 53, regularly reads blogs and uses e-mail, the other members of The Supreme Court are still firmly locked in the analog age. Most Justices turn to their clerks when they have questions about new technologies, but in this case, they gave it a shot. Lots of shots, actually.

There's no word on what games were played, though the industry had sent several PlayStation games to review as part of its case, including Medal of Honor and Resident Evil 4.

The time spent with the games paid off, too. Kagan showed a fairly prescient view of the industry during the case, surprising many Court observers -- not to mention California's attorney general, who was caught flat-footed during cross examination by Kagan.

“You think Mortal Kombat is prohibited by this statute?” she asked out of the blue.

“I believe it’s a candidate Your Honor, but I haven't played the game and been exposed to it sufficiently to judge for myself,” Morazzini replied after a short pause.

“It's a candidate,” she quickly followed up, “meaning, yes, a reasonable jury could find that Mortal Kombat, which is an iconic game, which I am sure half of the clerks who work for us spend considerable amounts of time in their adolescence playing…”

The Court ultimately ruled in favor of the industry 7-2.

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