Despite a recent Supreme Court ruling that granted games the same first amendment protection as movies and books, Oklahoma State Representative William Fourkiller proposed a bill that would tax games based on their "violence."
If it gets passed, the bill would take effect starting July 1st, 2012. The bill defines violent games as those that receive "Adult" or "Mature" or "Teen" ESRB rating. It is worth noting that ESRB's Teen rating is granted also to games that contain suggestive themes, crude humor, simulated gambling, and/or infrequent use of strong language.
According to the bill, violent games should be taxed an extra 1% that would be split between the Childhood Outdoor Education Revolving Fund and the Bullying Prevention Revolving Fund, both of which would be created as a part of the bill.
"We are disappointed that even in the wake of an overwhelming decision in the United States Supreme Court finding proposals such as this to be patently unconstitutional, there are those who still try to attack video game with outdated notions of our industry," the ESA commented. "Taxing First Amendment protected material based on its content is misguided."
California has been ordered by court to pay the ESA $1.32 million to cover the legal fees it incurred while fighting off a similar bill.