Following the recent elementary school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, Republican representative Diane Franklin of Camdentown has suggested placing a tax on the sale of violent video games.
Interested parties can read the bill here.
The fun doesn’t stop there, though. In Rep. Franklin’s definition, the bill describes where to place the tax thus:
“…the term ‘violent video game’ means a video or computer game that has received a rating from the Entertainment Software Rating Board of Teen, Mature, or Adult Only.”
Those of the readership familiar with either video or computer games (I despair for your parents if you are aware of both) may be quick to remark that, indeed, Rep. Franklin’s proposed bill doesn’t actually propose to tax merely violent games, which is its own argument, but all games with a rating over ‘E for Everyone 10+’
The definition of the Teen rating, as set out by the ESRB guidelines, is as follows:
Content is generally suitable for ages 13 and up. May contain violence, suggestive themes, crude humor, minimal blood, simulated gambling and/or infrequent use of strong language.
May contain violence. May contain. May. That is to say, ‘Does not necessarily contain violence’. In other words? ‘This game being taxed as a violent product may contain no violence’. How’s that for a hard sell?
If the bill passes, affected games will be subject to a 1% sales tax that will be spent on mental health programs designed to curb the risk of further shootings.
No other entertainment medium is being considered in the proposal.