Violent video games are everywhere. With the exception of some puzzle and sports games, the video game industry as a whole is built on violent video games. You can be stomping a Goomba in "Super Mario Bros.", or slicing someone in half in "Mortal Kombat" or shooting aliens in "Space Invaders", no matter how you put it, violence in video games is like peanut butter and jelly.
So you can imagine that when a State Representative in Missouri wants to tax the sale of violent video games, people take notice. Thanks to there being very few games that appeal to the typical gamers age range not having some form of violence, the proposed tax is a big deal.
Diane Franklin (R), of Camdenton Missouri has proposed putting a 1% sales tax on violent video game. AP has reported that the proposal is in response to the school shooting in Connecticut, with the taxes supporting mental health programs and law enforcement measures to keep mass shootings from happening.
Let's start off by first stating, there's absolutely no link and no evidence that the Sandy Hook shootings came about because of video games, much less violent video games. This is clearly an attempt by an out of touch State Rep to try and get money through an avenue she doesn't understand.
Fear not, those who live in Missouri, the ESA has your back. The ESA, Entertainment Software Association, fought a similar law that was proposed in California last year. They took the fight to the Supreme Court, and ended up winning.
The ESA told Joystiq about the Missouri law, "The U.S. Supreme Court ruled only 18 months ago that laws penalizing video games are unconstitutional. Taxing First Amendment protected speech based on its content is not only wrong, but will end up costing Missouri taxpayers."
The ESA will no doubt fight this, and end up winning. The best part? They'll recoup their lawyer costs, with California having to pay them nearly two million in cash for what the Supreme Court called unconstitutional attempts to punish gamers. Oklahoma tried the same thing as well last year, but the bill was killed before it went too far.
Representative Franklin has yet to make a statement on if she'll continue to push the bill through, and her opinion on the ESA willing to fight back.