One of the states in the USA might end up taxing violent, aggressive video games.
The lawmakers of the state came up with House Bill No. 109 that would put a 10% tax on games that are rated M (Mature) or AO (Adults Only). The money from the tax would go to a „Digital Protection for School Safety Account” fund that would try strengthen the security in schools to avoid what happened in Parkland (Florida) and Newtown (Connecticut).
Christopher B. Quinn, the politician that has put the bill forth (once again, as he tried already last year…), referenced a National Center for Health Research’s statement where he ended up with the usual link between violent video games and the school aggression. However, Quinn only referred to a small portion of the statement, as it also has the following part: „Violence is a form of aggression, but not all aggressive behaviours are violent. Very few studies have looked at whether playing violent video games increases the chances of later delinquency, criminal behaviour, or lethal violence. Such studies are difficult to conduct and require very large numbers of children.”
Chris Ferguson, a professor of psychology and criminal justice, is researching video game-related violence, and he also didn’t find a particular link between school shootings and violent games: „There is no good evidence that video games or other media contribute, even in a small way, to mass homicides or any other violence among youth. […] In fact, during the years in which video games soared in popularity, youth violence has declined to 40-year lows. And while it’s natural, in such an emotional time, for people to search desperately for answers, that often results in misinformation.”
In 2013, Diane Franklin in Missouri also tried a similar tax proposal, but the funds would have solely gone for treating mental health conditions associated with „exposure” to violent video games. Interestingly, both politicians are Republicans. Quinn’s vote might be put to a vote later t