Pennsylvania Considers Violent Games Tax

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Pennsylvania Considers Violent Games Tax

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Pennsylvania lawmakers recently discussed ways of combating the influence of violent games in society, and came up with some pretty radical solutions, including the idea of imposing a 5% tax on violent games.

At a committee hearing of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives focused on the topic of violent games, Representatives questioned a state Task Force on violent games about ways the state might deal with their negative influence. One solution that the lawmakers explored was the idea of enforcing a 5% tax on said games with that money going toward a program which would educate parents on the dangers of violent games.

The Task Force seemed to be fairly skeptical of this proposition, pointing out the number of legal protection issues that it would bring up. "That would have to be fairly considered, because you're not taking 5% of violent books or violent movies, but you are taking 5% [of violent videogames]," one Task Force member said.

The other bright idea the Reps had was barring or taking away state tax incentives for companies that produced or were otherwise involved in the development of violent games. The example of movies was once again brought up, with the Representative explaining that movie companies had to be held to a "higher level of scrutiny" in regards to the public benefit of their products in order to be allowed access to public money in the form of tax benefits.

Both propositions were merely that: propositions, hypotheses brought up in the course of discussion. So while you shouldn't expect any of this to go into the state lawbooks for now, it is interesting, as GamePolitics puts it, to see "how state legislative bodies struggle with the violent video game issue."

A point of controversy during the hearing was a sentence in the Task Force's report that implied that violent games are indeed beneficial on some level in terms of enhancing motor skills or problem solving.

"I strongly object to that sentence," one of the representatives made a point to declare. "The previous evidence pointed out today talking about gratuitous violence, violence against police officers, there are so many videogame options out there that encourage exploration, that might involve history or problem solving...so many positive videogames that we shouldn't say violent videogames can have positive effects."

The Task Force replied that they didn't mean to imply that those benefits were exclusive to violent games by any means. "I should think that those positive effects should be true of similar games like Guitar Hero, when it comes to motor skills," a Task Force member explained.

[Source: GamePolitics]

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Is there nothing else to worry about these days?

Do these people know anything about games?
I'd say society is far less violent today with video games than it was in the past without them.

Except that most books, comics and video games utilize the external conflict aka. violence to create the growth needed for the protagonist. Politics are just focusing on hot topic issues and figuring out how to get money from these cash cows.

Lo and behold! Another attempt that will fail to get 4 year olds to stop playing violent video games.

countrysteaksauce:
Is there nothing else to worry about these days?

Well, theirs always aliens...

The Amazing Orgazmo:

countrysteaksauce:
Is there nothing else to worry about these days?

Well, theirs always aliens...

The politicians really need to start an initiative to subjugate them so they tax them. You know...sometime before they destroy us all.

If there were people who thought cheese was sinful and socially corrupting, would the government tax that for their interest? It is just games, like any form of media is thought to be like that when it first comes out.
Printing Press- The minute people printed a book other than bibles it was blasphemous.
Movies- Thought by many fundamentalists to be sinful and evil at first
Rock music (and rap, and metal, and anything different I guess)- Elvis's hip shakin' was thought to turn kids into perverts
And now, Video Games- They're new, and scary to backwards minded people who think the only thing coming out of a gun should be the holy light of Jesus

countrysteaksauce:

The Amazing Orgazmo:

Well, theirs always aliens...

The politicians really need to start an initiative to subjugate them so they tax them. You know...sometime before they destroy us all.

Actually, this proposal could solve the alien problem too:
image

Xiado:
If there were people who thought cheese was sinful and socially corrupting, would the government tax that for their interest? It is just games, like any form of media is thought to be like that when it first comes out.
Printing Press- The minute people printed a book other than bibles it was blasphemous.
Movies- Thought by many fundamentalists to be sinful and evil at first
Rock music (and rap, and metal, and anything different I guess)- Elvis's hip shakin' was thought to turn kids into perverts
And now, Video Games- They're new, and scary to backwards minded people who think the only thing coming out of a gun should be the holy light of Jesus

You are absolutely right man, i can guarentee that 10 more years down the track or even less, if i had higher faith in the human race, the violence in video games will be overshadowed by how electroniclly beaming information directly into our brains so that we would only have a 5 minute school day would be considered a waste of tax payers money and evil because of the concept of machine autonomy.

Et tu Pennsylvania? I live one state down from Pennsylvania, (Maryland). This is a very bad idea I hope doesn't catch on. When will people learn that these games don't cause violence? Could it be that the violent kids were violent beforehand?! Politicians lack of commonsense never ceases to amaze me.

HomeAliveIn45:

countrysteaksauce:

The Amazing Orgazmo:

Well, theirs always aliens...

The politicians really need to start an initiative to subjugate them so they tax them. You know...sometime before they destroy us all.

Actually, this proposal could solve the alien problem too:
image

Destroy All Humans!
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!
Dude that is a beautiful tie-in
I'd tell you I Love You but I ain't that kind of guy

goddammit, I thought i was safe from this "Violent game" nonsense in PA. it's finally headed towards home.

what is violet? and why the tax? if "money going toward a program which would educate parents on the dangers of violent games" what dangers?

This is a great example of why someone should stay the hell out of topics/areas of interest he/she knows next to nothing about. Politicians should stay away from video games entirely and let people who actually play them have opinions, plzkthx . . .

But I definitely echo the "not again" feeling everyone else has had up to this point.

They tax us on our income
they tax us on what we buy with the income we paid taxes on
when we finally get it into our homes, they tax our property, just because we have it.
of course the local and state governments need a slice of the pie too, so they add some extra sales and income tax.
if we invested any money, any gains get taxed too.
Don't forget user fees for licensing and registering, well, everything has to be licensed and registered these days for fees of at least 20 bucks.
Finally, they tax us indirectly when they inflate the currency (and the inflation is coming).

So no, im not suprised they are finding anything else they can possibly tax us for.

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH FOOLISHNESS.

Xiado:
If there were people who thought cheese was sinful and socially corrupting, would the government tax that for their interest? It is just games, like any form of media is thought to be like that when it first comes out.
Printing Press- The minute people printed a book other than bibles it was blasphemous.
Movies- Thought by many fundamentalists to be sinful and evil at first
Rock music (and rap, and metal, and anything different I guess)- Elvis's hip shakin' was thought to turn kids into perverts
And now, Video Games- They're new, and scary to backwards minded people who think the only thing coming out of a gun should be the holy light of Jesus

Ok if a gun ever did shoot the holy light of Jesus I would want one!
This isn't surprising in the least. Lets just hurry up and invent the next big new medium so everyone can be up in arms about that and leave games alone.

Seperation of church and state people. Seperation of church and state.

When will they learn?

pennsylvania considers being sued by the esrb and the aclu and wasting tax payer money

there i fixed that title for you :)

if the law passes we know it will end up being tossed out and a high cost

Stupid people elect stupid politicians. What else needs to be said?

/facepalm.

How is it that people who are the most detached from reality end up in politics? Probably because there is no other place for them to go. /sigh.

I would approve of this if it was for all forms of media, games, movies, music, books. Also the money would really have to go towards educating stupid parents. As they will not do the first and are highly unlikly to do the second (considering that "task force" needs to get paid so it would be a waste of money anyway) it is just another waste of time and a way for the govt to actively piss off the gaming community.

As has been stated before, video games are just the latest whipping boy for the politicians to cry "social corruption" over.

Back in the day, Swing music was thought to be morally corrupting. Seems silly now, doesn't it?

People who do violent things to mimic violent games are already nut jobs. Spend all that shiny money on some way of dealing with that instead of just blaming stuff.

As Dumbledore says, "Make the choice between what is right, and what is easy."

Hunde Des Krieg:
Do these people know anything about games?
I'd say society is far less violent today with video games than it was in the past without them.

that is the truth. i had to do a report back in the day about violent video games and their impact and there was a study that did show that the crime levels were much lover than they were decades ago, however i cannot remember the source. might have been the department of justice.

I think one of the major problems is, who decides what is violent? Is Mario considered a violent game? After all, you are crushing enemies with your own body weight. Is Final Fantasy a violent game? After all, you are slicing up enemies with your sword or lighting them on fire. Is Metroid a violent game? Where do you draw the line?

I live in Philadelphia, and this would suck if it happened. Also, the qualifications for a violent game would need to be clarified.

....man....a sad day for PA......damn our state if bullshitty

Nimbus:
Seperation of church and state people. Seperation of church and state.

When will they learn?

That's not at all what that means.

Excuse me, but what the fuck? That's utterly ridiculous, holding gamers accountable for terrible parenting.

*yyyaawwnnnn*
People are stupid.
But I live in NY so whatever.

i've got a problem with that. what if we are of age to play the games? would you still pay the extra tax?

People are idiots, mainly Politicians and Parents who can't control there kids. Kids will mimic things always, but it depends if the parents are idiots enough to not control them when they go gangbanging or stuff. If people had any common sense, atleast the ones that are anti-violence, they'd ignore it, and not try and control society. It's a free country, people shouldn't be held back because of something they make. Now, this all goes to opinion, but someone making a violent game shouldn't be held responsiable for idiot people making stupid choices and mimicking the game. It's like a hammer. You can use it to put a nail in or take it out, or you can use it to beat someone's head in. But do you blame the hammer company for making the hammer or do you blame the idiot who beat the guy's head in with the hammer. And I'm glad I don't live in PA.

why do i have to live in pennsylvania. why?

Pennsylvania considers violent games tax, and I consider adding them to the list of places that in my mind aren't real states.

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