Missouri rep wants violent-game tax

HB 157 would charge a 1 percent excise tax on games rated T, M, or AO in Missouri; revenue derived would go toward mental health programs.

If a new bill becomes law, gamers in Missouri could pay a "violent-game" tax in the near future. Missouri representative Diane Franklin (R-123rd District) introduced HB 157 (via PC Gamer) to the state's General Assembly this week, proposing that all games rated T, M, or AO carry a 1 percent excise tax.

Revenue derived from this initiative would be deposited into the state's general revenue fund and be used only for the treatment of mental health conditions associated with "exposure" to violent video games.

According to the bill, "immediate action" is necessary to protect and ensure the mental health of those exposed to violent video games. In addition, it claims that such a bill is necessary for the "immediate preservation of public health, welfare, peace, and safety."

HB 157 was introduced to the Missouri General Assembly January 14, exactly one month after the schoolhouse massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, that left 20 children and six adults dead.

This is not the first time a state representative has introduced a bill seeking to tax violent games. In January 2012, Oklahoma state representative Will Fourkiller (D-86th District) introduced a bill that would charge a 1 percent excise tax, with revenue derived to be given to the state's obesity-fighting and anti-bullying funds.

This bill was defeated a month later.

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Discussion

364 comments
danusty
danusty

violent video games are not to blame for the violent acts we've seen in this beautiful country of mine. dumb/unaware parents and store clerks are to blame for kids getting violent video games and here's my example:


I live in Connecticut and when the game Capcom Digital Collection came out I went to a gamestop. While I was looking for the game I hear this 8 to 10 year old black kid tell his mother while at the store's register: mom, ask if they have GTA4 and the mom was completely oblivious as to what a GTA4 was. the clerk kept quiet obviously trying to make another sale for after all the mom is buying. when I heard that little kid say those words in my mind I said (OH NO YOU DID INT!), I jumped in and said to the mom: GTA stands for grand theft auto, those games are some of the most violent video games out there and I provided info as to why it was so violent., when the mom heard my info she said: oh no, I will not buy you that!

was I trying to be responsible or a hero in this situation? HELL NO! I just wanted to steal the kid's happiness! buhuhuhuhuhahahahaaaaaaa! I win! Flawless Victory! Fatality!

quantumtheo
quantumtheo

yes b/c the mental health industry (industry mind you) is totally trustworthy... Check out the movie Psychology: Industry of Death if you want to see what they are actually about.

Infinity_Gauntl
Infinity_Gauntl

Sure lets do it with games....and lets  also put a tax on guns and ammo....the internet....tv...movies....music....and anything else that a mentally disturbed person may view that could potentailly cause an issue to help fund mental health programs..........idiots

arcangelgold
arcangelgold

Thank God thus was defeated for future reference  this is called an unconstitutional excise tax and it's just an excuse to beef up their medicaid budget holes, they have no right to slap unconstitutional excise taxes on ANY product since they've been unconstitutional for over 200 years! It's another political ploy to thieve more of our hard earned money!

number1nick123
number1nick123

This tax would be like telling us that people that play violent games are mentally ill. Nope, were just bored.

razgriz1972
razgriz1972

i'm pretty sure if violent video games caused mental instability and led to massacres like conneticut there would have been a massacre a day in each country for the last 20 years. politicians are all the same tragedy happens they find a scapegoat and cash-in.

rynn21
rynn21

So sick of all the exploitation of the shooting tragedies lately...:/

crowinblack2008
crowinblack2008

It would seem that some people in government wish to turn a tragedy in to a witchhunt without proof that video games had anything to do with the tragedy in the fist place. 

rey2
rey2

Tragedy exploitation.  Usual politician trying to gain attention and get something out of it.  Video games earn millions and someone wants to cash in.  

Anyone can see it.  

BluexRogue
BluexRogue

If violent video games had any negative effect on a what I assume was a "normal mentally healthy human being" beforehand then I wouldn't ever want to attend a MLG event. This irks me to no end because they're singling out video games in general. I've been playing video games for most of my life and have had my fair share of violent videogames/ media and I'm not wanting to go out and exactly copy everything from the game. I guess the reason for that is because I have common sense and know it isn't real. If someone tries to imitate anything from any video game from Pokemon on down to Call of Duty then that person was, I'm just gonna say disturbed, to begin with.

maniaxe613
maniaxe613

What about the violent movie tax or the violent book tax or the violent news tax?

MangaWarrior
MangaWarrior

Im Bi-polar and putting money into treatment is not a bad thing, would you care about your child reading an edgy book then suddenly feeling different about the world they live in and suddenly having opinions ????? 

Because of that having programs that teach kids to defend themselves against negative undertones in a modern society is NOT a bad thing.Yet I think parent's should be educated about this stuff cause it's not the GAMER archetype that will save us from this but the Intelligentsia that will open our minds to this Reform Ideal.

S_Pac_316
S_Pac_316

It's just the idiots exploiting the Sandy Hook tragedy to leverage their BS!

Exploitation of a tragedy to line their pockets! Kiss my ***!

holtrocks
holtrocks

Cause we don't pay enough taxes as it is.

grommmmmm
grommmmmm

Oh really, the extra proceeds would go to psychiatric 'victims' of exposure to violent video games? And how many of those are there in the state of Missouri? Or anywhere, for that matter? Hasn't there been all kinds of research done already - which has turned out zilch in the way of positive evidence for video games in particular warping fragile gamers' minds? America definitely has a problem with raving lunatics owning assault rifles - so take them on, don't go the old blame games, music, movies route.

Of course, we now know taxes aren't implemented for the sake of keeping America's poor and needy alive - the traditional conservative argument. America spends zilch on social security and nearly half its gross annual product on military/corporate subsidies - go figure.

So what you're looking at here is an extra tax on virtual violence, that will allow the federal government to cut back on public expenditure in (psychiatric) health care. Which revenue it can then transfer to the corporate-military complex for ACTUAL for-profit killing in far off nations most Americans can't even point on the map.

Yet more evidence that the society we are born in has zilch to do with 'freedom' and is an absurd totalitarian nightmare on par with the former Soviet Union. And everything I see and hear to me suggests we are in the final days now.... 

jenovaschilld
jenovaschilld

That is an illegal tax, it would not be allowed in any of the 50 states supreme courts. The tax proposal would have to be greatly reworded and either broadened around all forms of gaming media or an increased focus as to what the taxes collected would be used for. 

This is more grand standing, more political showmanship then anything that would actually be implemented.  Not just second amendment rights, game media is widespread beyond state and federal  jurisdictions  it would also be impossible to implement. This is why you have never seen a tax on curtailing specific content in any media known: news, music, books, magazines, etc. 

In other words it is a waist of time for you, me, our politicians, tax dollars, and anyone with common sense. 

fillup0
fillup0

An extra six cents added to the price of your games for extra funding into mental health care and you're complaining? This isn't to scapegoat games, but rather to try and do something about these mass murders... Jesus I've never seen such a massive row over six cents.

Tseng
Tseng

This is a great idea.  Take money from citizens buying a product and spend that money on programs that have nothing to do with the original product.  How about we tax vegetarians 1% and donate the money to fighting heart disease?  Why don't we tax anyone that owns a bicycle and spend the money on streamlining the DMV?  Pointless, impulsive reaction to an event that had absolutely nothing to do with gaming.

bbkkristian
bbkkristian

Seriously, a 1% tax? Maybe that was what it was about all along

Oldgun
Oldgun

I don't understand this, how the hell doctors can find out mental health conditions associated with "exposure" to violent video games" !!

genjuroT
genjuroT

One quick solution. If you know your kid has mental problems, dont let them play or see anything violent...The "hear no evil, see no evil, do no evil" is for monkeys that don't know any better. The average human is smart enough to know they will die in real life if they imitate games, and the average human has a built in survival instinct not to die. So, if a kid is missing this instinct, then he's mentally ill, much like some tourettes children are forced to repeat words they hear.

ryanreynolds
ryanreynolds

Uh oh!  I've been exposed to violent video games for the past 15 years :O 

Unfallen_Satan
Unfallen_Satan

What are the mental health conditions associated with "exposure" to violent video games? I think before the merit of the bill can even be discussed, certain key terms must be clearly defined.

sfkm2
sfkm2

*sighs* Why oh why.

somebody337
somebody337

Oh sure our economy is down the dumps and alot of people are struggling just to keep a roof over their head. Taxing us even more for our form of entertainment to escape reality and vent anger would totally help -_-

Hellswrath99
Hellswrath99

This is so pointless that it's comical.  An "exposure to violent video games" fund?  REALLY?  Granted, more research is going to be done, but all the research so far has conclusively shown that games do NOT cause violence in real life.  Talk about jumping the gun.


Don't get me wrong.  I love America and my country, but there is way too much mob mentality going on here in the US about this.  What happened to making informed decisions?  What happened to basing law off of fair and reasoned judgement?


Since when did we jump back to knee-jerk reactions to everything?  Who is going to burn next for being the witch at fault for all our woes?  I'm sad for what we are letting ourselves become.

moncealyo
moncealyo

I remember when some morons were pushing for a soda tax.  That didn't go very far and I don't think this will either.

guy298
guy298

Guess what this doesn't prevent!

kyacat
kyacat

Hey Mr Rep and congree how about you guys pay tax's  the game industrry and us gamers who have common sense on your stupidity every time you cop out blame the game industry and  us gamers how does that sound?

demonkingx5
demonkingx5

I want the Top 1% taxed  if you ask him that watch as he defend the rich instead of defending the people who help get him elected why ? who payed for his campaign .

Skyrim25
Skyrim25

Its just like the old people in Washington to NOT focus on the actual problem of mental heath problems in people and instead they WORNGFULLY blame something that is not even related to mental heath.

nurnberg
nurnberg

Like I said before, generalizations are very dangerous.  Saying that gamers are mentally unstable is just like saying that gun owners are crazy or saying that Muslims are terrorists.  This kind of generalization just create stereotypes and conflicts.  Gamers are just normal people, end of story.

WolfGrey
WolfGrey

Well...this is very plainly insulting.....to all gamers who enjoy video games.

Ovirew
Ovirew

If they don't already tax alcohol to pay for domestic abuse programs, depression programs, alcohol liver disease awareness programs, and programs to promote anti-drinking and driving (am I missing anything?), they need to get on that, then.

Jshaw71
Jshaw71

@danusty Good for you for informing the mother about the content of the game, knowlege IS power, and you gave her some, again good for you, I would have done the same, honestly... 

MaverickZero360
MaverickZero360

@MangaWarrior Don't get me wrong, I do see what you're saying, but my problem with this is that this is being done out of prejudice. They're targeting violent video games.

This affects me and other adult gamers who are just looking to have some fun. I wouldn't have a problem with this, but then (as maniaxe613 pointed out as I was typing this,) why not tax other violent media such as books, movies, comics, etc. At the end of the day, this is just another politician using a tragedy for political gain.

Clowyd
Clowyd

@fillup0 It's sixty cents, and it is just an excuse to evade responsibility on the matter.  Parents can buy whatever they feel they want for their child.  It is THEIR fault if they regret purchasing a violent video game, they shouldn't throw the finger at video games.  Millions of dollars will go to this mental health bullshit, NONE of it will be attributed to video games, Missouri will just use taxpayer money to use an excuse to boost their own image at video games' and gamer's money.  It is stealing and fraud, basically.

Chaos_Kreature
Chaos_Kreature

 @fillup0 What's to stop other states from doing the same thing? What's to stop them from saying, "1%? Why not 2%? 3%? 7%?"

x-TwilighT-x
x-TwilighT-x

@genjuroT True enough, Judging by my KDR on Call of duty, I most likely won't be imitating that particular game any time soon.

guy298
guy298

Aw, nobody guessed...

TheCornal
TheCornal

@lilromeo0606 Well then america would be rich again... and politicans would be poor (as it should be)

fillup0
fillup0

@Chaos_Kreature I highly doubt they will, and if it goes to a good cause like that, I don't mind. But nobody will let it in obviously so my opinion is a fart in the wind anyway.