No, You Cannot Tax ‘Violent’ Video Games, Oklahoma

Senior Contributor
02.07.12 7 Comments

Oh, brother, here we go again.

William Fourkiller (…wow, seriously?), an Oklahoma state representative, wants to slap violent video games with a 1% tax. You might remember that California ate pavement over this exact issue in front of the Supreme Court, so why does Fourkiller think he can get away with such a vague law?

Because the law would tax any game rated Teen, Mature, or Adults Only, which Fourkiller no doubt thinks gets him around the whole “vagueness” problem these laws have. “Tales of Symphonia” and “Guitar Hero” are making you a fat violent slob, people! We’d look up more modern games with a “Teen” rating, but considering Fourkiller based this law on “Bully”, he might still own a PS2.

Fourkiller, for his part, justifies it with the usual line: they desensitize gamers to violence (which has never been scientifically proven, and probably never will), that video games cause bullying (again, there’s no proof of this at all), and that video gaming makes kids fat, because parents are incapable of taking away the controller.

For the record, as a rule, it’s frowned on to tax something defined as free speech because the power to tax means you can, say, drive a newspaper you don’t like out of business. But don’t worry, Oklahoma’s lawmakers understand that. The “driving the newspapers out of business” part, because that’s exactly what another Oklahoma lawmaker is trying to do.

See you at the Supreme Court, guys.

[ via Wired ]

image courtesy Rep. Fourkiller

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