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.
The article also reveals that some of the Justices (Elena Kagan in particular) went out of their way to research video games before ruling that the California law restricting minors from purchasing video games (Brown v. EMA) was unconstitutional.
In 2011 the video games industry sent the justices games to play prior to making their ruling including Medal of Honor and Resident Evil 4. And apparently they tried to play some of them. From the article:
Kagan said the justices often turn to their clerks, who are much younger, to help them understand new technologies.
But they also try to learn on their own. In one case, involving violent video games the first year she was on the court, justices who had never played the games before dove in and gave them a try, Kagan said.
“It was kind of hilarious,” she said.
She didn’t say which games they played.
We're not sure if playing video games changed the minds of those who ultimately ruled 7-2 that the law was unconstitutional, but even having a cursory introduction to games is better than having second-hand knowledge – often filtered one way or another by those trying to win a case.