Oklahoma Lawmaker Wants Anti-Bullying Tax On Video Games

Oklahoma Lawmaker Wants Anti-Bullying Tax On Video Games
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“Violent video games,” a governmental classification of speech and expression that the Supreme Court found a smidge troubling last June, would be taxed extra under a proposed law in Oklahoma, with the collected money going toward state programs fighting bullying and child obesity. Here we go again.

William Fourkiller, Democrat of Stillwell, Okla., proposed a one per cent state tax on “every video game with a teen, mature, or adult only rating,” reports KOCO-TV of Oklahoma City. “Violent video games contribute to some of our societal problems like obesity and bullying,” he says, “but because they raise a lot of revenue, they can also provide part of the solution.”

One per cent times $US60 is … 60 cents. Even if every man, woman and child in Oklahoma bought a T-, M- or AO- (snicker) rated video game at full MSRP at retail Oklahoma, that’s only $US2.2 million. California just paid $US1.3 million to the ESA in legal costs after losing its own battle to regulate video games, which are now considered protected artistic expression by the law of the land. So, Oklahoma’s looking at that expense, plus the legal fees to whatever DOOP chicken it hires to defend the case. That’s money that could go toward a needier cause, like, I don’t know, a privatized prison.

But hey, Fourkiller’s from the Democratic side of the aisle, showing that meatheaded proposals for video game regulation are still an ideologically agnostic concept. Hooray for post-partisanship.

Lawmaker Wants Tax On Violent Video Games [KOCO-TV, Oklahoma City]


  • Wow, no mention of the synagogue arson that was 100% caused by the evil mental domination effects of computer games? I’m sure they’ll get around to it

  • Chucking a tax on an item for the sake of a cause isn’t a terrible thing. Just look at the taxes collected for smoking and gambling in Australia.

    Their reasoning for it is incredibly faulty, essentially nonexistent, but if you’re need to raise money for government funded anti-bullying campaigns it doesn’t matter that much where the money comes from.

    Maybe they could have a word with Michigan about their anti-bullying law that allows an exception for religious based bullying.

    • I’ve always figured one of the reasons they tax these things is that demand for them is relatively inelastic in relation to changes in price so they can add significant taxes without having a massive effect on the demand for them. In other words they tax them heavily because they can.

      • Gorzilla is correct. This is all about a revenue grab, and has nothing to do with internalizing externalities.

        Also, Trjn, many of these smoking and gambling taxes go far beyond internalizing externalities. Australian gambling is terrible; the odds are abysmal and the games are low quality and the entire industry is controlled by state-backed monopolies. As for the prices of cigarettes in Australia, these prices are absolutely insane relative to other countries and go far beyond the marginal cost that smokers add to the public healthcare bill. Additionally, these prices incentivize black-market activity.

        • The increase in tax on cigarettes was to stop people from starting or continuing newly developed addictions. The concerns of smokers were not, and should not, be addressed. Their habit is a liability and should be milked mercilessly.

  • “Jimmy stop playing that violent videogame, it will make you obese! Here play this non-violent one instead and the weight will just fall off”

    • “I gave up Halo for Guitar Hero and lost 50 kilos overnight!”

      Fuck, I’d BUY guitar hero if that’d actually work…

  • I’ve read some pretty dumb shit on the internet. But I’m pretty sure this is the dumbest shit I’ve ever read.

  • Like the revenue raised would actually go to anti-bullying campaigns (as if they’ve ever worked anyway)…

    Better to focus on helping parents become better parents!!

  • If I’m reading this right, a “Violent” videogame is one that has a T rating or higher, not one that actually, you know, has violence in it. Guitar Hero? That’s a violent video game. Dreamfall? Violent. Peggle Extreme? Violent.


  • Can’t wait for the US to start to tax it’s citizens for stupidity.. No doubt some of the people taxed more than anyone else will be US politicians.

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