Washington Tax Plan Would Punish Violent Game Makers

StewShearerOld

Geekdad News Writer
Jan 5, 2013
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Washington Tax Plan Would Punish Violent Game Makers



The House Committee on Ways and Means has released a tax reform plan that includes provisions to strip violent game makers of a valuable tax credit.

Someday I think we're going to look back on the years where the government picked on games and laugh. "Silly democratically elected representatives," we'll say, rolling out eyes at the inanity of government bodies treating a successful industry like the bogeyman in the midst of a snails paced economic recovery.

Sadly, since we haven't yet reached that beautiful future just yet, we're stuck dealing with the present. A present that includes a recently unveiled tax reform bill that, if passed, would punish American companies that make violent video games. According to page 24 of <a href=http://waysandmeans.house.gov/uploadedfiles/tax_reform_executive_summary.pdf>the bill, companies involved in the creation of violent games would no longer be able to claim a valuable research and development tax credit. Ironically, the bill itself describes this credit as a benefit that gives "American manufacturers the certainty they need to compete against their foreign competition who have long had permanent R&D incentives." Apparently American game developers don't merit such competitive advantages.

Now it's important to remember that this bill, a product of the GOP controlled House Committee on Ways and Means, isn't yet official law. It still needs to run the ringer of being passed and could wind up changing during that process. That being said, even if it were signed into law I have a feeling it wouldn't go unchallenged. For one, the definition of "violent" as its presented is very vague. More than that though, video games are <a href=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brown_v._Entertainment_Merchants_Association>protected speech under the first amendment and you could make a solid argument that this bill is essentially punishing companies for exercising their free speech. We will, of course, be watching this to see how it pans out.


Source: <a href=http://washingtonexaminer.com/gop-tax-plan-singles-out-violent-video-game-makers/article/2544733>Washington Examiner


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Worgen

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Apr 1, 2009
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Whatever, just wash your hands.
Ahh silly gop, where 'free-speech' means getting rid of all speech they don't agree with.
 

GamemasterAnthony

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Dec 5, 2010
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I see only two possible outcomes from this...

CHOICE 1: This passes, but then the Supreme Court declares it unconstitutional anyway...and the GOP dig themselves into a deeper hole for it.
CHOICE 2: This fails in the most epic way possible...and the GOP dig themselves into a deeper hole for it.

Either way... *sees what the Captcha is* Huh...the Captcha has it!

CAPTCHA: had a great fall

Nicely said, Captcha!
 

Godhead

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May 25, 2009
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This is only slightly less idiotic than the bill that the Governor of Arizona vetoed that said Gay people could be denied service at places of business due to "religious grounds". It's unconstitutional and will be shot down if it does become law.
 

Seracen

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Sep 20, 2009
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AH yes, and while they're at it, ban all movies that rate higher than PG...because, you know, THAT'S a great idea....

Idiots...
 

Hairless Mammoth

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Jan 23, 2013
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Why do they keep on wasting taxpayer time on this? If they made this into a law and Hollywood and TV got tax credit the same way, they would also legally have to lose that tax credit. Which definitely won't fly with a super greedy industry well seated in the government like the movies. Along with the freedom of speech violation, there's too many things that will beat this stupid bill to death if it's made into law. Instead of spending time researching and learning about the modern world, they just want to fight it for no good reason besides there being idiot voters who are like them.

Rhetorical question: Why haven't these old fools that waste time on non-issues and bills that obviously violate existing higher laws been voted out yet?
 

Sanunes

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Mar 18, 2011
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I can't see this becoming law, but even if it does what it might do is chase development teams out of the US and into other countries.
 

Uratoh

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Hairless Mammoth said:
Rhetorical question: Why haven't these old fools that waste time on non-issues and bills that obviously violate existing higher laws been voted out yet?
Because they have the money to campaign, really. It's very hard for a new candidate to actually get enough attention in a district, let alone the whole state for a senate seat, to make people believe he would actually be *BETTER* than the existing one, and thus worth voting for instead of just not, or maintaining the status quo.

Uratoh. Answering questions nobody wanted answers to since 1981.
 

RJ 17

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Nov 27, 2011
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Worgen said:
Ahh silly gop, where 'free-speech' means getting rid of all speech they don't agree with.
Ahh silly DNC, where "free-speech" means getting rid of all speech they don't agree with.

Just because the GOP is coming up with this bill doesn't mean that both sides aren't still a bunch of self-serving ass-wipes. And hey, since this is likely to increase taxes if it goes through, then the DNC will likely be all for it.
 

marioandsonic

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I can't wait for the day where everyone in Congress actually grew up with video games and Internet as something in their lives.

That way, they could actually work to try to improve things such as our networking infrastructure (which is a joke right now), instead of trying to pass bills like this and SOPA, which are nothing more than technological witch hunts.
 

Keiichi Morisato

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BloodRed Pixel said:
mmmh, how about higher taxing on stuff that's actually meant to kill people - like guns.
there already is? the government actually already taxes guns greatly. actually the government has an agenda to keep guns away from it's citizens as much as possible, if she hits the fan we would be less likely to fight back.
 

Raziel

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A couple years ago I would have been worried that this would pass because games were largely dismissed by the public at large. BUt considering that games are the most valuable entertainment properties now, and all the top selling games would be defined as violent, I suspect there is just too much money involved for this to pass without a massive fight.
 

Veylon

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Reading between the lines, why is the government ladling out taxpayer money to video game makers in the first place? What pubic benefit is meant to be gained that offsets the cost of this measure? Are the game makers expected to share the results of this "R&D" for everyone to benefit?

Violent game makers aren't being punished, they are just aren't being rewarded.
 

EndlessSporadic

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May 20, 2009
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The GOP supports the right to own guns, but they attempt to pass this kind of law. It is starting to make sense why nothing gets done in this country.

Veylon said:
Reading between the lines, why is the government ladling out taxpayer money to video game makers in the first place? What pubic benefit is meant to be gained that offsets the cost of this measure? Are the game makers expected to share the results of this "R&D" for everyone to benefit?

Violent game makers aren't being punished, they are just aren't being rewarded.
You would be surprised how much R&D the video game industry does. I don't expect you to believe me, but a lot of the advanced programs we have today (solving algorithms, artificial intelligence, and the like) were created by game programmers. Some experts also strongly believe that the cure for aids will be found by an artificial intelligence programmer. Military unmanned drones wouldn't be what they are now if it weren't for the games industry.
 

Skeleon

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Worgen said:
Ahh silly gop, where 'free-speech' means getting rid of all speech they don't agree with.
Yup, big government conservatives trying to legislate morality again. Although, to be fair, that can happen with "Think of the children!"-lefties as well.
In a couple of years, decades at worst, one would expect that issue to be dead and gone, though, considering by then many of the young people of today - who tend to be more active gamers than older folks for now - will be in politics.
Of course, I fully expect some other medium, fad, music- or fashion-type or whatever to be the next big boogeyman by then. I. e., while gamers will obviously make more gaming-tolerant politicians in time, I don't think they'll necessarily be more enlightened when it comes to new media of that future day.
 

RJ Dalton

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Apparently, we have learned nothing from the days of the Hayes Comics Code, or the . . . I forget what the rules governing Hollywood were. All you do is hurt the creative talent of those who make stuff and, when the laws are eventually revoked (as they always are), you get people who pull a 180 and go to the opposite extreme.

Veylon said:
Violent game makers aren't being punished, they are just aren't being rewarded.
In Pavlovian psychology, this is called "Negative punishment" where you punish someone by taking away something good.