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Tax reform blueprint suggests violent game makers should pay more

Proposed U.S. tax reform legislation from U.S. Congressman Dave Camp suggests that makers of violent video games should pay more in taxes.

According to draft legislation for the Tax Reform Act of 2014, creators of violent video games would be exempt from research and development incentives aimed at investing in innovation in the United States. The summary, which you can view on Ways and Means' website, includes plans for "an improved, permanent R&D tax credit, finally giving American manufacturers the certainty they need to compete against their foreign competition who have long had permanent R&D incentives." The blueprint, however, includes the the following addendum: "Preventing makers of violent video games from qualifying for the R&D tax credit."

Information on how video game makers are sorted into the violent creations category are not included — nor is a resolution on how to deal with companies that produce both violent and non-violent games, such as NBA Live and Battlefield publisher Electronic Arts. We've contacted Ways and Means for comment and will update accordingly.

Violent video games are commonly a source of scrutiny and blame in regards to politics. In the wake of the the Sandy Hook shootings, lawmakers renewed their demands for research into the effects of violent video games on players. In 2013, President Barack Obama called on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to look into the relationship between video games, media images and violence.

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