The Conversation

Entertainment: Discussions and News about Entertainment

Video game sin tax? Where's the sin?

Feb 25, 2013 1:46 PM PT

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."

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Didactic entertainment

Feb 23, 2013 1:27 PM PT

In response to Jonah Goldberg: Conservatives Don't Need a Movie Studio:

That's a point well-made about the hopes of conservatives to influence culture, John.  You don't do it by creating a conservative movie studio and putting out the right-wing equivalent of the Left's mega-bombs from the Bush years.  I don't know if the concept of a conservative-owned studio is inherently bad, provided it avoided that kind of ham-fisted misstep... but it would be a difficult mistake to avoid.

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My Oscar Picks and Predictions

Feb 23, 2013 12:00 PM PT

I know people love to gripe about Hollywood, but like it or not... I like it.  Seriously, I like to go to the movies.  I like to see which ones are doing well with critics and in the box office.  I like to watch the three hour E! red carpet show.  I like the post-Oscars talk about what people wore (Joan Rivers is always right).  I like that Seth MacFarlane is hosting the Oscars.  I like to compare who I think will win and who actually wins.  So, here it goes:

Best Picture
My Pick: Lincoln or Les Miserables -- I keep going back and forth
My Prediction: Argo

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A Star Wars Worth Watching?

Feb 22, 2013 7:11 PM PT

It's official, J.J. Abrams is set to direct Star Wars Episode VII. Here's what film producer and President of Lucas Films, Kathleen Kennedy told Starwars.com

"It's very exciting to have J.J. aboard leading the charge as we set off to make a new Star Wars movie. J.J. is the perfect director to helm this. Beyond having such great instincts as a filmmaker, he has an intuitive understanding of this franchise. He understands the essence of the Star Wars experience, and will bring that talent to create an unforgettable motion picture."

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And Now, a Hipster Music Interlude

Feb 22, 2013 5:20 PM PT

As my colleague John Nolte reminded us today, I am incorrigibly and forever steeped in the hipster world. It's a simple relationship: I love the music, mostly dislike the movies, and hate the attitude. I don't presume that my age is anything but a disadvantage in the search for wisdom, aka "authenticity," according to my peers.

That said, the music is why I write today. Take a listen to UK pop artist Jamie Lidell, whose new self-titled album hit stores this week:

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Jonah Goldberg: Conservatives Don't Need a Movie Studio

Feb 22, 2013 1:05 PM PT

Ace and John's debate over ideology and film reminded me of Jonah Goldberg's wonderfully counter-intuitive column this week about leaving liberal Hollywood to liberals. His points about the unintended political consequences of "The Wire" and how no amount of global warming propaganda has changed people's minds are especially true, but his bottom line is this:

There's a difference between art and propaganda. Outside the art house crowd, liberal agitprop doesn't sell. … The conservative desire to create a right-wing movie industry is an attempt to mimic a caricature of Hollywood.

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