US congresswoman Diane Franklin said her proposed tax would help to “finance mental health programs and law enforcement measures to prevent mass shootings.”
The proposal has been met with widespread outrage by video industry experts who say it’s time to have a real, “brave” conversation about the critical impact of violence in media.
Since the Sandy Hook massacre in November in which 20 children and six adults were killed, American politicians and lobbyists have been pointing the finger at violent video games as the catalysts for the countless massacres that have occurred in the US over the last 50 years.
Following the Sandy Hook tragedy, the National Rifle Association wasted no time implicating the video game industry, calling it a “callous, corrupt and corrupting shadow industry that sells, and sows, violence against its own people.”
The statement – which Ron Curry, CEO of the Interactive Gaming and Entertainment Association called “fairly self serving” – was partly responsible for US Vice President Joe Biden’s decision to meet with gaming industry executives to begin “a dialogue” about gun violence following the shooting.
Not all game industry affiliates were happy that the industry was being included in talks.
Kris Graft, Editor in Chief of gaming website, Gamasutra condemned the gaming industry executives for attending the talks, claiming that attending the discussions was a passive admission by the gaming industry that it was in part responsible for gun violence in America.
Graft’s opinion piece was met with controversy.