Gun control and violent video games have been a hot topic recently. Ever since the shootings in Aurora, Colorado and Newtown, Connecticut, critics have put blame on violent video games as the source of violent behavior by teenagers and young adults. And now, a Missouri lawmaker is proposing a new bill that would levy a 1% tax on the sale of violent video games.
Missouri House Representative Diane Franklin is sponsoring a state bill that would see the tax applied to video games based on their ESRB ratings, and the revenues from the tax would go towards “the treatment of mental health conditions associated with exposure to violent video games.” The tax would be applied to video games with at least a “T” rating (Teen).
The Associated Press mentions that both Missouri’s Democratic governor, and the Republican majority controlling the general assembly oppose any new taxes, so it’ll be interesting to see exactly how far this bill goes, but the rise of concern among violent video games may change some lawmakers’ minds about the subject.
If the bill ends up passing, games such as Starcraft 2, EVE Online, Tropico 4, and even The Sims 3 would all be taxed in Missouri because of the amount of supposed violence in them. Other proposals for a tax levy on violent video games were brought up in Oklahoma last year, and in New Mexico in 2008, both of which failed to pass.