Earlier this month, Oklahoma representative William Fourkiller (D) proposed a Bill that would apply a 1% tax on video games, due to their relationship to obesity and aggression.
Even though 1% is a seemingly trivial amount, the Bill was soundly defeated by the Oklahoma House Revenue and Tax Subcommittee last week – with opponents pointing out that the link between video game violence and real-world violence is inconclusive at best, and objecting to the Bill’s blatant ignorance of other forms of violent entertainment. Other voters claimed the proposed tax was “too broadly drawn”, a blanket application to all T and M-rated games would apply to non-violent content (such as The Sims 3) as well as violent games (like Twisted Metal). Worse: The tax would also have applied to an assortment of movement-based dancing games, which are designed to get gamers “up off the couch”, preventing the problem the tax is designed to benefit.
[img_big]center,8699,2012-01-17/screenshot_5.png,The Sims 3: Arguably does not promote obesity or aggression[/img_big]
In a telling move, the lawmakers objected to the way the Bill singled out video games specifically, rather than – say – “French fries or rap music or movies“.
Once turned down, Fourkiller then attempted to create the Oklahoma Task Force on Vidoe Games’ Relationship to Obesity and Aggression, which was quickly shut down – the House believing that there are already sufficient measures in place to study games and gamers.