The lead counsel for the video game industry in the fight against California’s proposed violent video game restrictions gave a preview of the types of arguments he will make when the case is argued before the Supreme Court next month.

Speaking at a Gamasutra-attended intellectual property forum at Chicago-Kent University last week, Jenner and Block LLP Partner Paul M. Smith said that treating violent content like sexual content, as the state wants to, runs up against the current state of American culture.

“Violence is considered a perfectly appropriate and normal part of what we give our kids to see starting from a very young age,” Smith argued. “Star WarsLord of the RingsHarry Potter, there’s lots and lots of violence in all of those things.”

Trying to write a definition of violence that accepts things like Lord of the Rings but restricts more extreme violence for minors causes constitutionally unacceptable vagueness problems, Smith said. “That’s different in a very fundamental way, I think, from sex, where there’s not a lot of sexually explicit things that are targeted at the kid-friendly side of the world that you have to carve out,” he said.

(full article)