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Rhode Island politician seeks violent video game tax

Published: 18:56, 24 February 2018
US hundred dollar bill note with picture of Benjamin Franklin
Benjamin Franklin: I don't think I like this

Member of the Rhode Island State House Rober Nardolillo III has proposed a bill whereby M-rated games would be slapped with a 10 per cent price tax, which would go into mental health services and counseling.

Nardolillo argues that when introduced at an early age, games promote aggressive behaviour in children. Of course, the "science" behind such claims is regularly shoddy, which is why his wording involved a strategically placed phrase "there is evidence".

People, especially ones removed from real life problems, like politicians, seem to be masters of mixing up causal relations, i.e. cause and effect. Their science tends to analyse without context - what if kids resort to gaming because they are simply neglected?

Rhode Island Rhode Island state house building on a sunny day Rhode Island State House

And after all, with ratings slapped on pretty much anything and everything - is it really ethical to now hit gaming companies with yet another tax, for an arbitrary problem that may or may have nothing to do with scientifically verifiable facts? Sounds to us more like a bad parenting excuse.

I don't remember anyone playing Call of Duty, or whatever, actually harming anyone in real life? Well, OK, maybe that Nigerian scammer guy, who's pretty hilarious come to think of it, but that's just a scare. Besides, he probably did more to keep children's aggressiveness in check than Nardolillo's bill ever could. 

If there's ever a time for gamers to unite and pull a Cosa Nostra style resistance it's now, because politicians are getting their mitts ever so deeper into our cooking that it's getting to be ridiculous. I mean, their supposed worry over loot boxes is okay, we guess, but we may want to watch how deep they intend to go.

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