Oklahoma lawmakers wants to tax any games with an ESRB of ‘Teen’ or above

Having been in this tech industry for 20 plus years I am no longer surprised when I read about lawmakers who, with little or no knowledge of what they are seeking legislate try to control video games but one would think that since the US Supreme Court provided video games with 1st Amendment rights lawmakers would call it quits.

Needless to say lawmakers continue to try and return to the well as we can see by this latest attempt from Oklahoma Democrat Will Fourkiller who wants to levy a special tax that is focus specifically against the sale of ‘violent’ video games. The problem is that his proposition is that he wants to use the ESRB rating system as the bases around which to levy the tax.

The one percent excise tax would be applied against all games that get an Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) of “Teen, Mature, or Adult’ which might be fine on the surface until you start looking at all the games out there with those ratings.

Games like Ultimate Card Games for the Nintendo DS or the Wii’s Robocalypse: Beaver Defense would fall directly under this plan as would probably the majority of the most popular games on the market right now.

The bill is being proposed under “emergency” rules because it is “immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety,” according to the text. After being read on the House floor next week, the bill will need majority votes in both the Oklahoma House of Representatives and Senate before being sent to the governor. After that, if it doesn’t receive a three-fourths majority in both houses, it will be put on a November ballot to be approved or rejected by Oklahoma voters

via Ars Technica

If this passes the countdown to the first court challenge would start within seconds.