The Conversation

Video game sin tax? Where's the sin?

Politicians rush in where logical people dare to tread.

Connecticut State Rep. Debralee Hovey (R-112) isn't waiting to read the conclusion. Hovey, whose district includes parts of Newtown, introduced House Bill 5735, establishing what she calls a "10% sin tax" on violent video games (those with a rating of "M", intended for consumers 17 and above). The proceeds would go to Connecticut's Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services to develop "to educate families on the warning signs of video game addiction and anti-social behavior.

Hovey isn't the first state lawmaker in the wake of the Newtown tragedy to target video gamers with a tax. Rep. Diane Franklin introduced a similar bill to the Missouri House on January 14th, calling for a 1% surcharge on games with a Teen, Mature, or Adult Only rating. The Missouri bill states that, "immediate action is necessary to protect the mental health of individuals exposed to violent video games."

  1. Anti-social behavior is not necessarily connected to video games.
  2. They neglect to mention various laws in states like North Carolina, where people are asked for ID when purchasing games with Mature ratings.
  3. Let's see, games with Teen ratings.... Motorstorm Apocalypse (a racing game;) Ico (a famous puzzle game;) Singstar Dance (an interactive music game.) Not ALL games with Teen ratings are violent. 
  4. What controls are in place to guarantee funds are applied as proposed, not funneled into the general fund?



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