Video games are art, and they deserve the exact same First Amendment protections as books, comics, plays and all the rest, the U.S. Supreme Court said Monday in a ruling about the sale of violent video games in California.
California had tried to argue that video games are inherently different from these other mediums because they are "interactive." So if a kid has to pick up a controller and hit the B button - over and over again until he starts to get thumb arthritis - to kill a person in a video game, that's different from reading about a similar murder, the state said.
The high court didn't buy that argument, however.
"Like the protected books, plays, and movies that preceded them, video games communicate ideas - and even social messages - through many familiar literary devices (such as characters, dialogue, plot, and music) and through features distinctive to the medium (such as the player's interaction with the virtual world). That suffices to confer First Amendment protection."
And so another miserable old scold loses any claim to be able to tell those kids that they can't play on their own lawns. Excellent.
P.S. IN UR FACE, Roger Ebert! ;]