Biden: No legal problem with taxing violent games

United States Vice President Joe Biden believes there is no legal restriction on ability to tax violent media.

United States Vice President Joe Biden believes it would be no problem to tax violent games. As part of a recent gun legislation strategy meeting with religious leaders, Biden said that an idea brought forth by Reverend Franklin Graham to tax violent media could be a smart move.

Participants in the behind-closed-doors session told Politico (via Game Politics) that Biden said there is "no restriction on the ability to do that; there's no legal reason why they couldn't" tax violent media.

He also said that that he would like to see a comprehensive study done regarding the impact of violent games and movies on young people.

Reverend Graham said that funds derived from the tax should go towards helping victims of gun violence, along with their families. Excise tax on violent media is nothing new, with multiple calls for such legislative action popping up since the Sandy Hook massacre and before the school shooting.

In a landmark 2011 decision, the Supreme Court sided with the video game industry, ruling that games are protected free speech under the first amendment.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

Discussion

1243 comments
YearoftheSnake5
YearoftheSnake5

It's not fair to tax a game based on its content. You're penalizing someone's creative vision because it's not what certain people would like. Just because there's no "legal" problem, doesn't make it right.

edgie18
edgie18

How about taxing the sale of guns and ammo then. But then all the money the National Rifle Association pay those politician will soon stop that.

Ayato_Kamina_1
Ayato_Kamina_1

Why not just put a tax on guns then? oh... silly me... I'll let myself out.

ThAdEa82
ThAdEa82

How about just collecting from companies instead of providing them with infinite tax loopholes?

immortaltech6
immortaltech6

Look at the enlarged picture of this moron with his over whitened fake looking celebrity teeth. Reminds me of that Seinfeld episode with the black and white cookie. 

Stinger78
Stinger78

This has probably been said already, but violent games, along with every other game are already taxed, it's called Sales Tax.  

To charge more just because those few and far between individuals play them all day and then blame the game for their actions is just missing the point.  No amount of money can make up for evil actions.

golden1elite
golden1elite

Many politicians now a days are the modern mafia.  They got smart and realized if they control the laws and take ever increasing taxes they can carry out all the criminal activity they want.  Hey it is legal(cause they said so, slave!) 

kyacat
kyacat

Knew it that clueless sleazy  Politicans and NRA decide to team up against the game industry and us gamers instead of admittting that  lazy parents who don't care about esrb ratings and would by their spoil children M rated games to shut them up.

games are high enough and don't more taxe on games

RpG2013
RpG2013

Joe Biden ruined the Xbox fans this time that is why Microsoft is charging people heavily with their xbox one. He must have paid off Bill gates to make that console a martial law machine instead of gaming machine

bannermanner
bannermanner

Every word that comes out of his mouth makes me more and more glad I didn't vote for him.

rbereczki
rbereczki

I wish Armageddon would finally arrive so that these fuck-nuts would stop ruining the world for everyone.

deanrockon
deanrockon

So, the reveal of the Xbox One, with its always-on face-and-voice-recognizing Kinect 2.0, got me thinking this morning.... what if every time you played a violent video game on Microsoft's new machine, you got tagged in a database somewhere as a possible threat to be tracked?

Paranoid? Yes.

Too paranoid to be true? ... I'll get back to you on that in a few years...

lakerolen
lakerolen

How about this, for every time they tax a violent video game the same amount should be taken from religious organizations, doesnt that sound fair ?


Double_Wide
Double_Wide

Remember, many of you voted for this...

Vegeta-sama
Vegeta-sama

hey jerkface... you'll tax violent games, but you don't have an issue with 17 and 18 year old going over seas and killing people... gtfo of here (and apparently doesn't mind letting his constituents die when Marines a 20 minutes away either... eff you)

ShipwreckX
ShipwreckX

Let's forget about the imposed taxes. Add up all the tax you had to pay. Think of all the things you could have bought with that. Buying means the seller has money to pay his employees and him/her self. In turn repeating the cycle. Now look at that tax money. Then look at all the parties, the jets, the security details and let's not forget their health insurance along with all the other things. That we paid for.

Hicks233
Hicks233

So that means that Westerns, War Films, Police Dramas - they'll all be taxed as well?

Murder mystery novels, certain sub genres of music - they''ll be taxed?

I guess it's one way of generating revenue...

Someguy1212
Someguy1212

Um no legal problem?!?! Its called the 1st Amendment of US Constitution. Obummer and Joe Bite me continue to show how much they hate this country

spikepigeo
spikepigeo

WHY should the government make further profit off of parts of media content that don't belong to them...

...and it's a punitive profit too...

Is violent media an affront to the government? Do we owe THEM damages for observing virtual murder and assault and grand theft auto?

It literally makes no sense.

vatorus
vatorus

The VP never heard of free speech in America....

lionheartssj1
lionheartssj1

I wouldn't be surprised if he didn't know where he was at any given moment.

EPPT1
EPPT1

This socialist/communist weasel doesn't care a bit about how violent a game is. He and his ilk are just looking for another tax they can impose on us, "little people". You know, the ones like you, that are incapable of governing your own pathetic lives. Everyone knows "Uncle Joe" is oh so much smarter than we are.....

mercurydude
mercurydude

This is an attempt to legislate morality by a nanny state, and there is no logical reason as to why this also can't carry over into violent movies, books, etc. And who is going to decide what constitutes as violence? I mean, is Bambi going to be taxed because of the scene in which his mother is shot off camera? Is that going to count as violence? This kind of thing brings up all kinds of unsettling concerns, and seems to be a gateway to government censorship through taxation. 

Teddy_Bear123
Teddy_Bear123

He has a silly point of view, as we live in a violent world.  Were violence is covered by everything from movies, games, etc.

But he should remember that even watching the news, means you are going to be subjected to violence.  The thing that annoys me is that most of these statements come from the older politicians, etc.  The World has changed, people are less desensitised to violence these days.  

You honestly think taxing media will change this fact,... no it won't.  Its a blatant appeal for votes to the older generation(who generally turn out more when voting).

I live in the UK(so this won't effect me), and if you wanted to buy a gun you would have to go and deal with the criminal underworld to get one, whereas in the States you simply have to go to the shops.  This at the end of the day is just side stepping the subject of how easy it is to access guns in the US.

ricemanstm
ricemanstm

Biden is an idiot. The only reason Obama chose him was to protect himself. Obama realized that taking the village idiot as his VP meant that no one was going to come after him knowing that his death would put Uncle Joe in the big chair.

starwarsjunky
starwarsjunky

or how bout we introduce a strict psychological screening before a gun purchase is permitted?

starwarsjunky
starwarsjunky

if so, i'd better see violent movies, books, tv shows, music, etc get taxed as well...

warragh
warragh

when will people realise that violent video games are not the problem. united states politicians are dealing with an issue far bigger than its being admitted to be and blaming everything on "violent games" is a big mistake. also, where is the line drawn between violent games and non-violent games? is skyrim a violent game? what about dishonored or fighting games? there is no clear line between "violent" games and "non-violent"

cirugo
cirugo

we aren't even going to allow BACKGROUND CHECKS before we let people buy GUNS but we're sure as hell going to tax violent video games...

fuck off Biden.

YukoAsho
YukoAsho

Man, VP Biden is really trying hard to ensure he's not electable in 2016, is he?

Scholar_Of_Time
Scholar_Of_Time

I still stand for the last guy on that one related article who just said America no longer has any concern on solving it's actual problems...

Also, can you believe that a British GAMER knows more about American Politics than actual Politicians??

nurnberg
nurnberg

All this witchhunt against guns or video game is really stupid.  Violent crimes including murders have dropped by a huge amount since the 80s.  But hey, this is liberals we are talking about, so facts do not apply.  Emotions from a few high-profile cases are more important than the facts.

immortaltech6
immortaltech6

@ThAdEa82 

Cuz those corporations lobbying money (legal bribes) did a FATALITY on their spines.

bmart970
bmart970

@deanrockon If I get an Xbox One, Imma put a piece of electrical tape over the camera.

KimCheeWarriorX
KimCheeWarriorX

@Vegeta-sama while theyre at it, they might as well start taxing r rated movies at theaters for everyone (that includes adults). oh wait, that wont happen because filmmakers and their backers have immunity. *rolls eyes*

vatorus
vatorus

@EPPT1 Don't worry, it'll never happen, most media is protected under Free Speech as a form of artistic expression.  The only one that isn't is pornography.

lakerolen
lakerolen

@warragh how about games where your given a choice in the matter where you decide if your going down the "lethal violent" path or if you take the "non-violent / non lethal" one oh dem politicans speaking before actually thinking this through.

ShipwreckX
ShipwreckX

@cirugo

Every gun I have bought I have had a background check done, even the ones bought at gun shows. BTW He, just like all the politicians that were voted in were voted for what they represent. The time to say fuck off is gone.

jcknapier711
jcknapier711

@nurnberg I don't know about the rest of the country, but in NYC the crime rate was drastically reduced by implementing policy by a right wing think-tank called the Manhattan Institute.

Ayato_Kamina_1
Ayato_Kamina_1

@bmart970 @deanrockon might have a sensor in it to prevent the system from booting if you do that. Remember, it identifies you and loads your personal settings based on you holding the controller, if it doesn't see you it might just register itself as stolen!

tamabeast04
tamabeast04

@vatorus @EPPT1 pornography is protected too.  Obscenity in any medium is what is not protected.  Fine line distinction.

factoryslaveman
factoryslaveman

@ShipwreckX  It's my understanding it depends on which state you live in on whether you get a background check.