Missouri bill would tax violent video games

When I was in high school, I played a game called “Counter-Strike,” a first-person shooter game that allowed you and your friends to play each other online. It was riotous fun, and years and millions of gamers later, the first-person shooter genre is still going strong.

That is why I think there will be significant interest in a piece of legislation filed yesterday that would levy “upon sales of all violent video games an excise tax based on the gross receipts or gross proceeds of each sale at a rate of one percent.” Last year in Oklahoma, legislator William Fourkiller (yes, that is his real name) introduced a similar piece of legislation, and it appears the Missouri legislation uses a fair amount of that bill’s language. For instance, a “violent video game” in the Missouri bill is defined as “a video or computer game that has received a rating from the Entertainment Software Rating Board of Teen, Mature, or Adult Only” — identical to the Oklahoma proposal.

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