If you’re at the very least someone who watched Saturday Night Live in 2008, then you should know who Joe Biden is. If not, then he is the Vice President of the United States. He’s an okay politician, besides the fact that his foot enjoys a winters in his mouth.Every once in a while he feels the need to remind us that he doesn’t know anything about how the technology industry work. This time I’m not talking about how he equated piracy with theft, or how after the Sandy Hook shooting he met with gaming industry guys instead of experts in psychology and firearms. Because why in the world would those guys know about why mentally ill people go on shooting sprees? We Americans usually try not to pay attention to Biden, but I just have to speak out about the rant he’s gone on lately. Joe Biden just suggested that we should tax violent media. Oh here we go again.
Every time a politician talks about video games it’s the same old thing. They say that “Hey, maybe all this violence isn’t because our country doesn’t put mental health a s a priority, or because you don’t need a background check to legally get an assault rifle. Let’s see if it’s these darned vidya games that’s the problem”. Only we know that video games aren’t the problem. We, the educated members of the internet know that as video games have become more popular and realistic, gun violence has dropped dramatically (although I won’t attribute causation between the two). We know that none of the studies have shown a link between games and real life violence. Unfortunately, we aren’t the ones making these laws.
Another problem with this is that there wouldn’t be a good way to implement this tax. How do you define a “violent” video game? Galaga is kinda violent in a way I guess. Politicians obviously don’t know that the ESRB is a thing, since they’re always talking about how there should be a rating system so parents know what they’re buying. Are they going to tax all games that you need to be 17 or older to buy? Are they just going to put it on all games? We know that they don’t know what they’re doing when it comes to this kind of thing. It’s going to be a disaster.
But what about the tax money going towards studies about violence and helping the victims? Well, some money towards those causes would help. But if you were to tax anything to add money to that cause, how about we tax guns? I don’t neccesarily think that we should tax guns, but it would make a lot more sense to tax the weapons being used in murders than taxing Grand Theft Auto or Call of Duty (which, if you ask politicians, are the only video games that exist). But because the NRA has our government on a leash we know nothing like that is going to happen. For the forseeable future, it’s just going to be more of the same cycle. A violent tragedy happens. The media and politicians look for brownie points. Suggestions for common sense gun regulations get shot down by the people on the NRA’s payroll. Congress would rather spend government money on tax breaks for the rich instead of anything to do with the public health. Bills fail, nothing changes and we insert a quarter to play again.