106 Nw. L. Rev. Colloquy 1 (2011-2012)

handle is hein.journals/nulro106 and id is 1 raw text is: 



Copyright 2011 by Northwestern University, School of Law               Vol. 106
Northwestern University Law Review



DO VIOLENT VIDEO GAMES HARM CHILDREN?
      COMPARING THE SCIENTIFIC AMICUS CURIAE
      EXPERTS IN BROWN V. ENTERTAINMENT
      MERCHANTS ASSOCIATION


                                                       Deana Pollard Sacks*
                                                          Brad J. Bushman
                                                        Craig A. Anderson***

                               INTRODUCTION
     In Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Ass 'n,1 video game merchants
present a First Amendment challenge to a California law regulating sales of
certain violent video games to children less than eighteen years of age.2 A
primary issue presented to the Supreme Court is whether California's inter-
est in protecting children from serious psychological or neurological harm
is sufficiently compelling to overcome First Amendment scrutiny. This Es-
say briefly summarizes the California law and the Ninth Circuit's opinion,3
which held that the law violates the First Amendment and questioned the
strength of the scientific evidence used to support the claim of harm to mi-
nors. This Essay then compares amicus curiae scientific experts on both
sides of the case and presents an original quantitative analysis of the ex-
perts' relevant expertise in the psychological effects of violence and media
effects based on the briefs' authors' and signatories' published scholarship.
This Essay concludes that if the Supreme Court relies on scientific evidence



    Professor of Law, Texas Southern University. Address correspondence to: The Sacks Law Firm,
55 Waugh Drive, Suite 101, Houston, Texas 77007, Tel: (713) 927-9935, ProfessorPol-
lard@ comcast.net.
     Professor of Psychology, The Ohio State University, School of Communication and Department
of Psychology & VU University, Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Address correspondence to: Brad J.
Bushman, School of Communication, The Ohio State University, 3127 Derby Hall, 154 North Oval
Mall, Columbus, OH 43210-1339, USA, Tel: 614.688.8779, Fax: 614.292.2055, bushman.20@osu.edu.
The author thanks Brian Anderson for his help collecting the data herein.
      Professor of Psychology and Director of the Center for the Study on Violence, Iowa State Uni-
versity. Address correspondence to: Craig A. Anderson, Department of Psychology, Wi 12 Lagomarcino
Hall, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011, USA, Tel: 515.294.3118, Fax: 515.294.6424,
caa@iastate.edu. The author thanks Brian Anderson for his help collecting the data herein.
   1 130 S. Ct. 2398 (2010) (link).
   2 The terms children and minors are used interchangeably herein and refer to persons less than
eighteen years of age.
   3 Video Software Dealers Ass'n v. Schwarzenegger, 556 F.3d 950 (9th Cir. 2009), cert. granted,
sub nora. Brown v. Entm't Merchs. Ass'n, 130 S. Ct. 2398 (2010) (link).

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