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Gamers React to Proposed Violent Video Game Tax

Posted: Jan 16, 2013 4:24 PM by Joe Chiodo
Updated: Jan 16, 2013 4:35 PM

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COLUMBIA - Employees at Slackers, a downtown video game store, said Wednesday they do not support proposed legislation to tax video games with the "Teen, Mature, and Adult" rating. Assistant Manager Ted Sharp said many non-violent games would unfairly fall under the tax.

Republican Rep. Diane Franklin of Camdenton called for the tax Tuesday in response to the deadly Connecticut school shooting. The one percent sales tax would finance mental health programs and law enforcement measures to curb mass shootings.

Sharp explained, "The tax is on any video game rated teen, mature, or adult only...'T' for teen games like Guitar Hero and Dance Central 3, I don't know how those can be classified at violent video games."

Despite his anger, Sharp admitted if the proposal passes, the tax would most likely not hurt his business. But he said the majority of video games he sells would be taxed.

"It seems like a broad brush. If you're going to tax violent video games, you could at least have legislation that singles out violent video games...not just this thing that taxes basically 75 percent of video games."

Franklin's proposal is the latest in a string of measures in response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that killed 20 students and six adults. Another Missouri Republican has filed a measure allowing teachers to carry guns in the classroom.

Similar legislation to tax violent video games failed in Oklahoma and New Mexico in recent years.

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