Biden: No Legal Reason Violent Games Couldn’t Be Taxed

Joe Biden noted there is technically no legal reason video games cannot be taxed based on violent content, but he still says a thorough study needs to be done first.

Vice President Joe Biden has shown up several times in the gaming world since the debate about violence in games has heated up.  He has generally been a fairly neutral party, agreeing the possibility exists of stronger regulation but also that such should not be done without a thorough understanding of the actual role and effects of violent games in the lives of those who play them.

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Most recently he was overheard in a closed-door meeting discussing gun control noting that there is no actual legal reason violent video games could not be taxed.  The question is usually discussed in terms of whether a tax would be right or effective, rarely whether it would be legal, and the vice president’s point is a good one for both sides of the argument to pay attention to.

On the side of the gamers, he is making us aware the violence we take for granted could, in fact, become a premium we have to pay for.  Realizing the content of our games is protected by the bill of rights does not mean the price is protected is an important thing.

For those in favor of heavy regulation, Biden is forcing them to acknowledge their point is not only being opposed by gamers and violent-criminal wannabes.  Yes, there legally could be a tax on video games, but there isn’t one yet and the Vice President is insistent that a real study needs to be done on the subject before it is regulated.

Even if such a tax were implemented, the most likely side effect people would actually notice is an increase in the price of games and a subsequent drop in sales of the effected product.  Ironically it seems unlikely to me that a slight increase in price would actually change the ability of most underage gamers from getting the games in question, given how many of them do not pay for the games themselves in the first place.

Hopefully both sides will be able to come to a compromise sooner or later.  Until then, I eagerly await the next political gaffe or nutjob to come along and try to join the violent game debate in earnest.


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Wokendreamer
Writer, gamer, and generally hopeful beneath a veneer of cynicism.