Connecticut state representative Debralee Hovey recently proposed a sales tax on "mature" video games to "provide funds for education concerning the danger of violent video games," according to the text of the bill published online.
Proposed House bill 5735 draws an explicit link between violence and "mature" video games and would impose a 10 percent sales tax on each. Though the text of Hovey's bill does not define what constitutes a "mature" video game, it may refer to the Entertainment Software Rating Board's M-rated games. The Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services would use the funds collected to develop "informational materials to educate families on the warning signs of video game addiction and antisocial behavior." The bill has not yet been voted on as of publication.
Hovey's legislative district includes Newtown, where a gunman killed 26 people, including 20 children, at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in December.
Hovey is not the first lawmaker to draw links between violence and video games. In mid-January, a Missouri state representative proposed a 1 percent sales tax on "violent video games," which her bill defined all video games with Teen, Mature and Adult Only ESRB ratings. California state Sen. Leland Yee has long been an outspoken critic of video games and the video game industry. On Jan. 16, President Obama instructed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to study links between video games, "media images" and violence.
You can read more in our StoryStream below to learn about the legislative initiatives, proposed studies and scrutiny that the video game industry has faced in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting.