Oklahoma legislator proposes violent game tax

Representative Will Fourkiller, a Democrat Oklahoma legislator, has introduced a bill that proposes to add a one percent excise tax on all "violent video games," claiming that video games can lead to obesity and bullying.

"A gentleman shot a police officer and stole his car," Fourkiller said to KFOR. "He had been playing Grand Theft Auto." Fourkiller also expressed disbelief that a video game called Bully actually exists, rounding out the requisite Rockstar whipping boys so often trotted out as examples of an evil industry, or at best a careless one.

Fourkiller claims that he is not targeting the video game industry with the bill, even though he does still want to tax violent games. The collected tax money would go toward Oklahoma's Bullying Prevention Revolving Fund and the Childhood Outdoor Education Revolving Fund to fight bullying and obesity, two things Fourkiller claimed, citing unspecified research, that video games can lead to.

The bill is HB2696 (RTF document) and defines a "violent video game" as "a video or computer game that has received a rating from the Entertainment Software Rating Board of Teen, Mature or Adult [sic] Only." This broad definition could potentially include such titles as Super Smash Bros. Brawl and The Sims 3.

House Bill 2696 is being proposed under "emergency" rules, which means that it is "immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety," according to the bill's text. It will need a majority of votes in the Oklahoma House of Representatives and Senate before being sent to the governor. If it does not receive the required three-fourths majority in both houses, it will be decided by Oklahoma voters on the November ballot.

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A poor diet leads to weight gain and health issues.

A violent mentality is caused by poor parenting and/or emotional distress within the person and/or bad influences from peers.

Video games, movies and television shows do not do either of these things.

I'm still appalled by the decisions and statements coming from people working in government agencies.

Such a shame that it'll still be at least 20 years until the old ones die out and get replaced by people who are part of this generation who are actually educated in such things.

"violent video games," claiming that video games can lead to obesity and bullying.

Obesity? Video games never made me fat. Eating A&W, Pizza Hut, and Starbucks at the college I went to all the time did. (well not fat, but chunky) Poor diet and inactivity are to blame. Why not go after books and television while they're at it?! Or chair manufacturers for making chairs that are 'too comfy' leading to lack of getting up...

Violent and crazy people are going to violent and crazy $h#t period.They dont need a push thats why they are called violent and crazy people.
I can see why someone might think after playing a violent game that someone might do it,its a stretch and i seriously doubt it but maybe.My question is how does playin violent games make your a$$ fat.If playin them makes your a$$ get bigger then watchin someone play should have the same effect,maybe thats why my EX's a$$ got so fat.LOL

*sigh* I really hate living in this state at times. You never see Oklahoma in the news for anything good. It's always some crazy idea and usually by a bible thumper. The joy of being the belt buckle of the bible belt.

"...claiming that video games can lead to obesity and bullying..."

So too [apparently] can serving in the legislature.

What's a kid that's a geek to do?... at least in Oklahoma. Get your lunch money taken at school, get your game money taken by the gov. I guess neither bully wants you to gain weight, so they take your cash before you can spend it on food. Personally I think there should be a tax on anyone proposing a new tax &/or tax increase. Put that on the ballot & see how easily it passes.

Hey brilliant people there is this thing on the game case called a rating sticker that you know, rates games the same way you rate movies? For people who spend so much time reading, these guys don't read much.

What!? You can't tax video game developers for the types of stories they choose to tell in their video games. Some are violent, but so are some films, novels and paintings. What were they expecting?

We can only hope our new generation of politicians has at least an idea of technology and games to actually have a clue abou what they are talking rather than talking from their asses and actually help countries move forward rather than backwards.

Its called being a parent which isnt done so much these days. "Parents" blop kinds in front of TVs/computers to keep them busy so they can do other stuff instead of watching them and showing them the difference between right and wrong. These same people are the first to yell at TV, games, music, and movies when their kids do something.

Everyone in my highschool that I knew played violent video games. None of us ever went and acted out anything in the games at all.

The Supreme Court shot down the court case that would ban the sale/rental of video games to minors in California, so I don't see how this would be much different than that. Instead of restricting its use, its just making you pay extra for it. If I couldn't play video games, I'd find something else to do while sitting on my butt, like reading, so it doesn't really seem like a good way to get kids active. Just a good way to **** off parents/kids who actually pay for the game. Books are violent too though, so they may try to tax those next.

When are they going to tax football/baseball/basketball some bullies are "jocks" right? The NFL/NBA/MLB could pay quite a bit from merchandise, TV broadcasts, etc. /s

What about the rich kids? They like to make fun of the fact that some kids don't wear designer clothes. The 1% can pay more too.... /s

What about the smartest kids always blowing the curve leading to low grades? Kids get bullied for failing too... /s

F*** it, tax everyone/everything(except churches of course, bullies don't go to church) /s

schubb2003 said,

F*** it, tax everyone/everything(except churches of course, bullies don't go to church) /s

Except the bullies that emotionally guilt you into donating to the Church Tax them too!

they should tax his last name - oh, and another tax for naming his kid, Toss.

you know, my buddy brought up a good point. if he thinks violent video games are so bad, then he'd move to actually ban them. instead, he's just introducing a tax which actually solves nothing. he's just a money-grabbing whore.

Edited by Jason S., Feb 3 2012, 1:41pm :

Haven't lawmakers figured out that anything game-related has already fallen under "free speech" or otherwise made untouchable?

Also, the dude's name is FOURKILLER. That makes me want to kill four people. Can we put this man in prison or tax him to the center of the earth?

"Computer games don't affect kids; I mean if Pac-Man affected us as kids, we'd all be running around in darkened rooms, munching magic pills and listening to repetitive electronic music."
-Kristian Wilson, Nintendo, Inc., 1989

Whether that quote is real or not, I agree with it completely. The idea that games make people violent is ridiculous. If it were the case then I would most probably be in prison by now.

But in Kids, if you don't instruct them properly, you'll be seeing them trying to cut you down with a knife after playing Call of Duty for 3 hours. Because at that stage of life: Monkey see, Monkey do.

Jose_49 said,
But in Kids, if you don't instruct them properly, you'll be seeing them trying to cut you down with a knife after playing Call of Duty for 3 hours. Because at that stage of life: Monkey see, Monkey do.

There is NO acceptable "BUT" in this scenario. It's more outrageous that this idiot actually introduced a bill than any of the stupid games he listed as a reason. He's simply using something he thought would be easy to demonize to his idiot bible thumping constituency. Basically to legally rob the people that make those titles.

Intrinsica said,

Whether that quote is real or not, I agree with it completely. The idea that games make people violent is ridiculous. If it were the case then I would most probably be in prison by now.

But doesn't that quote support the idea that violent video games could make people violent? After all, a significant minority of people DO run around in darkened rooms munching pills and listening to repetitive electronic music. It's called a nightclub.

Not that I support the idea in any way whatsoever. A violent video game tax is ridiculous. The idea that someone could impose a tax to force people into their own false ideology is completely offensive.

Intrinsica said,
"... The idea that games make people violent is ridiculous...

IMHO it's not much different than the ol' ***** will make you go blind.

How do these deluded fools end up in positions of such power? I am sick to death of politicians who bring nothing except their own unfounded beliefs and deluded personal morality to the table. which would clearly do nothing except a quick 'image' fix. I don't think they even have the brain power any more to properly analyse an issue so just use a kneejerk response to peddle the masses who think quick control breeds more success, peace and harmony than logical long-term thinking and acting.

Thom said,
How do these deluded fools end up in positions of such power? I am sick to death of politicians who bring nothing except their own unfounded beliefs and deluded personal morality to the table. which would clearly do nothing except a quick 'image' fix. I don't think they even have the brain power any more to properly analyse an issue so just use a kneejerk response to peddle the masses who think quick control breeds more success, peace and harmony than logical long-term thinking and acting.

Reminds me of the movie Footloose...

Thom said,
How do these deluded fools end up in positions of such power?

Well, the state legislature is one of the lower rungs on the ladder for those hoping to gain some sort of real power, & if you get the right backers isn't that difficult to achieve -- I think people pay less attention to those elections than they do any other, e.g. city council, mayor etc., & it usually doesn't pay much, so all you need is one of the parties' blessing so-to-speak.

Otherwise the proposal is just another so-called sin tax, targeting video games because all the better sins have already been taken. Just find something a number of people dislike, & stick a tax on it -- it's not an out & out ban, but more a slap on the wrist that makes people that don't like whatever smirk & think to themselves, "serves them right". One of those "it feeds their sense of superiority" sort of things. Other politicians are often scared to *openly* fight sin taxes because that means some people won't like them, regardless whether *some people* means a few dozen or millions of voters. And for the rep that came up with this proposal, it's evidence for the people back home that he's really doing more than sitting in the capital spending their money & maybe taking bribes.

I agree with the above it is just another sin tax. It is mainly used to create some kind of feel good connection with his constituents. You have to take into consideration where he is a state representative as well.

Well, two can play this game. I propose we take away the senators right to indulge in sin of any kind. No more sex (statistical probability his variant is probably a sin), no more drinking (again, likelihood of variant being a sin) and would someone please take away his keys from the computer, video game console and world wide inter-tubes.