US lawmaker wants to tax violent games

A US lawmaker has hit on a wizard wheeze to make money off violent video games.

An Oklahoma state representative with the ironic name of Will Fourkiller wants to get a bit of cash from the gaming industry while at the same time sending a message that violent games are bad for you.

Unfortunately for Mr Fourkiller, the US has this thing called Freedom of Speech so he can’t ban violent games, so he shows that he learned a thing or two from the way the state handled the cigarette industry. There, the State made shedloads of cash while at the same time discouraging people from smoking. It worked, right? Well, the State had access to a lot more money it didn’t have before.

Fourkiller told Kfor that he has seen first hand how video games can lead to obesity, and says research shows they can lead to bullying. Of course if you followed the same logic you would tax fast food and High Schools which also do that.

Fourkiller also shows that he is ahead of the game with his knowledge of violent video games. He cited a game called “Bully” claiming that “bullying is often what happens when kids play these games”. Bully came out in 2006 and has not been seen since 2008. It’s for the Playstation 2.

Fourkiller also trotted out the line a that a man who shot a police officer only did so because he played Grand Theft Auto. Generally, if you are the sort who is going to kill someone, you will do it even if you play badminton.

Fourkiller said that he believes that after hours of watching the screen, playing the video game, being that person and taking on that role, people get desensitised.

Anyway, he has introduced HB 2696, which would place an excise tax of one percent on violent games that carry a software rating of Teen, Mature, or Adult Only.

The money collected will fund the state’s Childhood Outdoor Education Revolving Fund to fight obesity and the Bullying Prevention Revolving Fund. 

Presumably this would not apply to the free to play videogame developed by the US government, America’s Army, in which soldiers carry guns and generally use them to shoot at other people.