Tax on violent video games proposed by US House of Representatives member

The Sims 3

By on January 17, 2013 at 6:36 pm

How would you deal with violent video games ruining your country? Tax ‘em, of course! Such is the bill proposed by Republican Diane Franklin of Camdenton, Missouri, who is arguing that all games which have “received a rating from the Entertainment Software Rating Board of Teen, Mature, or Adult Only” be subject to a special violent games tax.

The proposed bill (PDF) imposes a 1% sales tax that will go towards “new and additional funding for treatment of mental health conditions associated with exposure to violent video games”. As PC Gamer points out, games such as The Sims 3, StarCraft 2, Tropico 4 and EVE Online would all be classed as ‘violent video games’ under this broad definition.

News outlet KSDK is reporting that similar legislation in Oklahoma and New Mexico has failed, so it’s likely that this one will receive the same treatment.

21 comments (Leave your own)

Is there anything we Aussies can do to help this bill fail? This, if it is true, is a poorly veiled attempt at riffling through U.S. citizen’s wallets in the guise of helping others.
Not only that, but it’s another poorly veiled attempt to shift blame onto the gaming community.

The audacity of these imbeciles almost makes me want to “prove them right”.


What the hell..


haha my god…all i can do is laugh at how stupid this is. WTF!!


The Sims 3… Violent…? The fuck…? So essentially every game ever made in other words…?
This sounds like a great way to drive Piracy rates through the roof out of spite.
How would you even monitor or police something like that with so many third party avenues of game acquisition these days anyway.

Love one of the comments on that PC gamer Article.

“Wouldn’t it make more sense if they placed a higher tax on
guns and used that additional money instead?”

So simple, and so true.


Only if they put the tax on tv, dvds and guns as well for the same reason. Also the kids at school are a bad influence on my kids with their cops and robbers and they should be taxed too.


Just to ensure that the tax is effective they need to trail it first on the families of the Senate… oh wait they probably don’t even have anything to do with what they’re trying to impose.


Why do I get the feeling that the gun lobby has bought this politician to place the blame on something other than guns.


You have obviously never had rebels blow up your mausoleum in Tropico :P…


Put it this way, if the USA fired all the imbeciles from the Goverment, they’d have to look abroad to fill the positions…


Why do I get the feeling that the gun lobby has bought this politician to place the blame on something other than guns.

Totally not necessary. She’s a republican, and they’re much more far-right than the coalition here, even if they sometimes share some facepalm moments.


“Wouldn’t it make more sense if they placed a higher tax on
guns and used that additional money instead?”

So simple, and so true.

They could never do that, their heads might explode because of all the common sense it would involve. Also, their second amendment is sacred, see…Even more so than human life and stuff what makes sense.


Well speaking economically, this is actually a good idea in principle. They may have stuffed up the implementation already by including the Sims in the list…but economics tells us that governments should tax things that they want to discourage, but aren’t illegal. Good examples in Australia are cigarette taxes, and now the carbon tax…similar for petrol excise and tax on alcohol. You tax these things to try and discourage their use (or as the cynic says, to make money out of their use).

So I broadly support the idea of a tax on particularly violent games. But not on ALL games, as that list seems to indicate…



It’s not the bloody video games that’s the problem and any logically thinking person can see that. I’m sick to death of hearing of this idiotic thought pattern the US seems to have that puts video games in a light of being more dangerous than guns.

I could care less about the yanks having to pay more for their games (much cheaper than us here to begin with) but as Australia seems to be undesirably wanting to be just like America, I could see nutbag’s wanting to bring in the same sort of thing here if it were to pass through. Just look at all the trouble we had getting our own R18+ rating. Next they’ll be wanting to put a tax on those games.


The problem is, this would just be a stepping stone – allowing them to increase it to ridiculous levels like 17% or something down the line



I don’t see why you’d necessarily want to discourage violent video games though. We’ve had concrete evidence that smoking and drinking can both cause cancer, and we know that public taxes (even in the US) often end up paying for treatment, so it makes sense to tax them.

Any link between violent video games and mental health issues seems rather more tenuous.


why would anybody be surprised stupid country is stupid country


Speaking logically what you just said was totally idiotic.

Firstly the carbon tax is a cash in method of taxing the people further. You think any corporate entity will actually pay the taxes? It’s like GST is always paid by the end purchaser rather than the companies in the middle due to them just price shunting to offset the losses.

Secondly this “discouragement” of Carbon. One of the base elements and most useful elements of the periodic table. I highly doubt carbon can be taxed…
Secondly if you are referring to man made Carbon Dioxide emissions, there is tons of scientific data out there highlighting the bullcrap behind the governments claims. Not only that, Australia’s carbon footprint is tiny compared to China/USA, it doesn’t even warrant acknowledgement. It’s Uranium footprint is one of the largest in the world however. That is far more worrying…

The cynic from your comment would be right. Cigarette taxes don’t stop addicts. Petrol taxes make money for the government at the cost of the motorists, NOT the petroleum companies who still make a killing off petrol costs.

TBH at the end of the day, tax is the closest thing to legalised extortion…



Way to derail the thread.


RSOblivion = Tony Abott


Tax on cigarettes is fine, it helps supplement the pressure that associated illnesses from smoking put on the public heath system.

In regards to video games I don’t think there is enough evidence either way to introduce a tax for said purpose.

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