Yes, you read the headline correctly. Oklahoma State Representative William Fourkiller—bask in that irony of a last name—has proposed a tax on violent video games. The tax is one percent on top of sales taxes, and all proceeds from the tax will go to a "Childhood Outdoor Education Revolving Fund" and a "Bullying Prevention Revolving Fund." It should be noted that none of these funds currently exist; if the tax passes, these funds will thus be born.
So what is a violent video game? I have my thoughts, and surely you have yours, but with Mr. Fourkiller's proposal, a violent video game is any game with an ESRB rating of T, M, or AO (Adult Only). So Dragon Quest VI, with all of its little slime slaying, would have been taxed. Surely I'm not the only one who sees what's wrong with this picture.
Probably the most hilarious aspect of the entire bill is the last section, which claims that this is an emergency situation. It is apparently necessary to preserve "public peace, health and safety." So hey, violent video games also make us unhealthy too. Did you know that?
If passed, the tax will go into full effect on July 1, 2012.
I agree that such funding programs should exist, but by taxing what they consider to be violent video games? Please. Take some of the revenue from the casino taxes, and oh, I don't know, maybe cut your own fat salaries.
Anyone want to bet that Mr. Fourkiller hasn't played a game beyond Angry Birds?