Lawmakers from Pennsylvania have put forth a invoice that proposes a 10% excise tax on violent video video games. House Bill 109 seeks to impose the so-called “sin tax” on video games bought at retail which can be rated by the ESRB as M for Mature or Adults-Only. The cash would go right into a fund referred to as the “Digital Protection for School Safety Account” that goals to boost safety measures at colleges within the wake of the college shootings in Parkland, Florida and Newtown, Connecticut.
State consultant Chris Quinn, a republican, initially put forth the invoice in 2018, however it by no means made it out of committee through the 2018 legislative session. The new model is equally worded.
The 10 % tax can be along with relevant state and native taxes. The gross sales tax charge in Pennsylvania is 6%, which implies a regular $60 sport prices round $64. With the additional 10 % tax on violent video games, the price of an M-rated sport like Red Dead Redemption 2 would make the sport find yourself costing about $70.
Explaining the invoice final yr, Quinn said violent video video games is likely to be a component within the rise of college shootings in America. “One factor that may be contributing to the rise in, and intensity of, school violence is the material kids see, and act out, in video games,” he stated.
Quinn cited the National Center for Health Research’s statement that research display a hyperlink between violent video video games and will increase in aggressive ideas and behaviors. Quinn’s feedback conveniently omit the identical assertion’s disclaimer that different components like psychological sickness, entry to weapons, and adversarial environments ought to be thought of as different danger components. Not solely that, however the National Center for Health Research’s personal reporting states that research haven’t proven that aggression results in elevated cases of lethal violence or felony exercise.
Expectedly, the Entertainment Software Association, which lobbies on behalf of the online game trade, is taking a tough line towards this invoice. In a statement to Variety, the ESA the invoice is a violation of the US Constitution.
“Numerous authorities–including scientists, medical professionals, government agencies, and the US Supreme Court–found that video games do not cause violence,” it stated. “We encourage Pennsylvania legislators to work with us to raise awareness about parental controls and the ESRB video game rating system, which are effective tools to ensure parents maintain control over the video games played in their home.”
After the Sandy Hook capturing, a lawmaker from Connecticut proposed a similar tax in 2013. Also that yr, a state representative from Missouri proposed a sales tax on games rated M and above. In each instances, the funds would have gone in the direction of psychological well being applications. However, the payments by no means grew to become regulation.