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Author Topic: Missouri wants to tax violent video games.  (Read 1021 times)
Desert Walker
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« on: January 17, 2013, 06:28:08 AM »

Missouri Rep. Diane Franklin proposes that the best way to curb the sale of violent video games is through sales tax. What is a violent video game you ask? Anything rated T for Teen and up by the ESRB, including games like You Don’t Know Jack.

The United States Supreme Court ruled that video games are protected speech, no different than books, paintings, or films, when it ruled on Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association in 2011. That case struck down the 2005 California state law that banned the sale of violent video games to people under the age of 18, and required additional warnings on the package beyond the ESRB ratings system. The Court found the law unconstitutional, just as many district courts had found similar laws previously. That doesn’t stop people from trying, though. Missouri is now attempting to curb the sale of violent games by imposing a tax on them.

More specifically, State Representative Diane Franklin (R) has introduced House Bill No. 157, calling for a 1-percent sales tax placed on all violent video games sold in the Show-Me state. The bill employs a liberal definition of just what constitutes a “violent” video game:

“[The] term ‘violent video game’ means a video or computer game that has received a rating from the Entertainment Software Ratings Board of Teen, Mature, or Adult Only.”

The majority of games sporting the ESRB’s M for Mature rating do feature explicit violence and in many cases sex, as do the mere twenty-two games to receive the Adults Only rating over the past nineteen years. That games rated T for Teen is included under the bill’s definition betrays the author’s profound ignorance of the media in question.

Consider some of the games rated Teen currently on Amazon.com’s best-seller list. Titles include: You Don’t Know Jack, Forza Horizon, and Dance Central 3, whose most violent content is bright colors. The most violent T-rated games on the list are Star Wars Kinect and StarCraft II, games whose fantasy violence is roughly comparable to the first fifteen seconds of a thirty-second commercial for NCIS on CBS. Television shows are naturally not included in the proposal, though, nor are movies or books.

Rep. Franklin’s bill is unlikely to be signed into state law, and if it is, it will be struck down as swiftly as similar legislation proposed in Oklahoma, New Mexico, and California.

http://www.digitaltrends.com/gaming/missouri-congress-proposes-tax-on-violent-video-games-like-dance-central-3/#ixzz2IEOsku15

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ZeronHitaro
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« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2013, 04:12:17 PM »

It's probably less 'Hey, this is a good idea!' and more some jackwagon trying to hop on the fear mongering train in order to eek out extra taxes for their state budget. Doesn't help that recently some oversensitive parents in Mass. got the DoT to yank all shooter-type arcade cabinets out of rest stops; so Miss Diane likely thinks there's enough support to squeeze this thing through.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2013, 07:21:52 PM by ZeronHitaro » Logged
Akanbe-
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« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2013, 04:44:56 PM »

It's probably less 'Hey, this is a good idea!' some jackwagon trying to hop on the fear mongering train in order to eek out extra taxes for their state budget.

Maybe, but republicans are supposed to be anti new taxes so this probably isn't the case.  *shrug*

Also, am I the only one amused by the fact that the media and various spokesmen keep talking about "violent video games" but I have never heard them bring up violent movies.  I'm guessing they don't want to piss off the MPAA/Hollywood and the video game industry is a much easier target so they just left the movies part out.  As far as I'm concerned, you can't wag your finger at one of them (VGs) and not the other.  Better yet, don't wag your finger at all but that's probably not going to happen.
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« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2013, 05:23:14 PM »

It's probably less 'Hey, this is a good idea!' some jackwagon trying to hop on the fear mongering train in order to eek out extra taxes for their state budget.

Maybe, but republicans are supposed to be anti new taxes so this probably isn't the case.  *shrug*

You expect Republicans to be consistent about their "principles"?  Hah!  That's the biggest joke so far.

Quote
Also, am I the only one amused by the fact that the media and various spokesmen keep talking about "violent video games" but I have never heard them bring up violent movies.  I'm guessing they don't want to piss off the MPAA/Hollywood and the video game industry is a much easier target so they just left the movies part out.  As far as I'm concerned, you can't wag your finger at one of them (VGs) and not the other.  Better yet, don't wag your finger at all but that's probably not going to happen.

How about the violence in the news itself...like when they sensationalize something like the Newtown incident, giving it 24 hour coverage, and are basically making it clear to anyone who wants attention that this is how you get it...
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Desert Walker
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« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2013, 05:24:04 PM »

The discussions I've had with people who think video games should be banned/regulated indicate that they feel that the addition of interaction adds a level of realism that causes people to be violent or be desensitized or 'trained' for violence or something like that that is not present in movies.

I think that's bullshit, of course, but most people can't be bothered to see if facts match their (mostly dead) hypotheses or not.
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« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2013, 06:03:33 PM »

I wonder when we'll actually focus on cracking down on guns than videogames.  Much harder to work up the courage to kill a man with your bare hands than it is a gun.

Ah well, blah blah blah, yadda yadda yadda.

I'm sure it will all be said, so I'll just post Stephen Colbert's thoughts on it:
http://imgur.com/tigeN
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« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2013, 06:20:45 PM »

And here we go again. Another horribly tragic event occurs, people start looking for convenient scapegoats, and point their fingers at whatever medium is still relatively new and or fresh.

That said, I wouldn't be surprised if this one actually made it onto the books given that its Missouri and they're not even looking for a slap on the wrist.
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« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2013, 06:28:28 PM »

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EM3NSTbi4OQ
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Desert Walker
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« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2013, 06:35:35 PM »

I was hoping this wouldn't turn into a gun control debate, but fuck it.  Such statements need to be contested.

Given that gun control has no real effect on whether people have access to guns illegally or not (check out the stats by country of illegal guns on page 2 and 3 in particular) we should not be focusing on robbing law abiding citizens of their property (and their right of self defense) without monetary compensation and worse, sending police who are trained to gun people down at the faintest sign of resistance (say, someone reaching for a weapon or flash light because they have no idea who the fuck the intruders are in their home are that are yelling and waving machine guns at them) to raid the homes of those who are suspected of not obeying the law.  It's bad enough that people are gunned down in their own homes by police because their neighbors have put in an anonymous tip about smelling marijuana smoke, we don't need people who have never harmed anyone with a gun and never will being killed for the terrible act of wanting to defend themselves or their family, or in some cases having a gun collecting hobby. 

For that matter, given that hammers kill more people per year than assault rifles in the US (all rifles combined, actually) if you want to argue from a perspective of reducing violence we're better off banning those.  And kitchen knives, too. (Come to think of it, there is a group in England trying to ban kitchen knives.) 

The gun control argument also seems particularly silly when you consider that Germany, with it's very strict gun control laws, has had more people killed in mass shootings than the US, even counting the latest one and this is without factoring in the inherent moral problems that come with gun control laws.

For that matter, while it takes more courage to kill someone with your bare hands than a gun (but apparently not more courage than required to kill someone with a melee weapon if we're making a comparison with assault rifles) it also takes a lot more courage to kill someone in a place where people might defend themselves than it does to gun down people in a place where you know that anyone who is capable of defending themselves (or others) is 15-30 minutes away.  There is a reason that virtually every single shooting happens in a 'gun free' zone and a reason that mass shootings almost never occurred prior to the laws creating gun free zones.  Even the Aurora Colorado theater shooter, armed to the teeth and with a full set of body armor on, insisted upon picking the only gun-free theater in town.  Banning gun free zones would do a hell of a lot more to see to it that mass shootings didn't happen than gun control ever would.  That strategy also has the added benefit of not involving robbing people of their property and civil rights or sending police out with orders to bring them in dead or alive even though they've never committed a violent act in their life and don't intend to.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2013, 06:45:28 PM by Desert Walker » Logged
Kevadu
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« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2013, 07:56:00 PM »

I didn't want to want to turn this into a gun-control debate either, but then you had to post that...

For that matter, given that hammers kill more people per year than assault rifles in the US (all rifles combined, actually) if you want to argue from a perspective of reducing violence we're better off banning those.  And kitchen knives, too. (Come to think of it, there is a group in England trying to ban kitchen knives.) 

Completely not true.

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The gun control argument also seems particularly silly when you consider that Germany, with it's very strict gun control laws, has had more people killed in mass shootings than the US, even counting the latest one and this is without factoring in the inherent moral problems that come with gun control laws.

Completely not true.

I can respect differences of opinion.  I can't respect people who defend their point of view with made up statistics.
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MeshGearFox
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« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2013, 07:57:15 PM »

Also there was a guy with a concealed carry permit, and a handgun, at the Aurora theater. He couldn't use it, because it was a FUCKING PITCH BLACK THEATER AND YOU CAN'T AIM FOR SHIT IN THAT.
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« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2013, 01:48:29 AM »

I loves mah gun
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Agent D.
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« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2013, 02:08:55 AM »

I wonder when we'll actually focus on cracking down on guns than videogames.  Much harder to work up the courage to kill a man with your bare hands than it is a gun.

Ah well, blah blah blah, yadda yadda yadda.

I'm sure it will all be said, so I'll just post Stephen Colbert's thoughts on it:
http://imgur.com/tigeN
Of course, you have to fear the psychos who actually prefer the feel of choking the life out of their victim or or literally bashing their face in with nothing more than their barehands.
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MeshGearFox
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« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2013, 04:34:49 AM »

I also love my gun:

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