UK Urged to Tax Violent Games

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UK Urged to Tax Violent Games

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The father of murdered schoolboy Damilola Taylor is advising the UK Prime Minister to tax all violent videogames in order to reduce knife crime.

Richard Taylor was brought in last month as one of the advisors to Gordon Brown on the subject of knife crime and was said to be "saddened" by those children that bought violent games that had a "negative impact."

The news comes as Home Secretary Jacqui Smith is rolling out the Government's new initiative on knife crimes. The Tackling Knives Action Plan will be spending 2 million to combat a worrying increase in armed violence amongst teenagers.

Speaking to the Home Affairs Committee, Taylor said that the games were "too cheap" and taxes on them should be "very high." He went on to say how youngsters "feel that the law has no control over them. They just feel that they can go on the streets and do whatever they like."

Games weren't the only media to be attacked as he also laid into rap music about which he said, "there is a lot of negativity that comes out of this music, especially that which is coming from America."

While it's not my place to question the workings of the Government, it does seem that having an emotionally charged parent as an advisor may not present a clear view of the problem.

Source: The Telegraph
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I completely agree, having an emotionally charged parent as an advisor is not a smart move. You're not likely to get an objective view on anything related to his issue, he wants to wrap every child in cotton wool to prevent other parents going through what he did.

Tax violent videogames to stop knife crimes...

Why not... y'know... tax... KNIVES???

How about we tax polititions so we get somthing useful out of them.

Games are cheap? I live in Canada and I think that 60$ is expensive, it is even more in the U.K. Now, I don't know where this guy got the idea that video games were responsible for this, after all, video games tend to focus more on GUN violence.

I'd imagine that it would be hard to crack down on knife crimes. Owning a gun is very different from owning a knife. It's a lost cause.

I also agree with galletea: never ask a biased person for his opinion before making an informed decision.

You know, they could have used all the time and money spent on pointless endevours like this doing somthing like improving the NHS or education system.

well pirating is 100% free...and rapping? seriously?

mattttherman3:
Games are cheap? I live in Canada and I think that 60$ is expensive, it is even more in the U.K. Now, I don't know where this guy got the idea that video games were responsible for this, after all, video games tend to focus more on GUN violence.

gta san andreas had a fair bit of knifing, but knife laws LOOK OUT CHEFS NO MORE COOKING **cry**

Tax is really the solution to getting less people to use something isn't it?

Just look at petrol for example.

goodman528:
Tax is really the solution to getting less people to use something isn't it?

Just look at petrol for example.

sad face, if they over tax games people will pirate(theory)

Man, if you are going to whine about rap music, do so because it's all very generic, not because it turns kids into rapists and killers.

The only thing I will say about this:
If you look at video game/movie violence and think, "Shit, I need to go do this," you have fucking problems. Taxing games will not help them, therapy might. A bullet to the skull is good too.

Unless you're massively unbalanced or stupidly gullible, you're not going to become a killer from playing games, and if you're either of those two things, you need to be locked up/beaten anyway.

they are doing this to stop kids from getting the games and causing crimes, why dont they do something about the sales of guns???

Aardvark:
Tax violent videogames to stop knife crimes...

Why not... y'know... tax... KNIVES???

And with that statement, you are more fit to run our country than Gordon Brown.

johnman:
How about we tax polititions so we get somthing useful out of them.

This is the best thing I've read in along time. Well done, hehe.

Ah, UK politics, whatever will they come up with next? I hated having the oh-so-tragic story of Damilola Taylor rammed down my throat at every inconceviable opportunity by the news back then, and now the guys father is going on some emotionally charged crusade against videogames?

This won't get any support from me, that's for sure. This is nothing more than bandwagon jumping by Mr Taylor - I didn't see them blaming videogames for the cause of his sons death all those years back. Also, what a great way for the UK government to show how supportive it is of the gaming industry by taxing it more? That's really going to make this fair isle a really tempting proposition for games developers looking to set up shop, isn't it?

As for the comment regarding the youth of today feeling that the law has no control over them. well, that's probably because it's true. The law, as it is called in this country, is so damn soft that it's no wonder people feel they can get away with so much, given the relatively light punishments they are received.

Also, "too cheap"? Who is he trying to kid? I have a hard enough time grouping together the funds I need to buy my next game when they currently cost just shy of 40.00. Increasing the price will certainly not help matters one bit.

Hopefully our government will see some sense this time around and stop listening to the words of this so-called advisor.

Over 60 is too cheap? And what does gaming have to do with his kids death? They didn't kill him in the hopes they could level up for god's sake.

Ah, so a teenager who feels that carrying a knife is a good idea, is going to stop buying violent games if they become expensive as opposed to just stealing them instead?

If the idea of stabbing somebody doesn't bother them then I doubt theft does. It would just affect those who have more than two brain cells in their head instead.

goodman528:
Tax is really the solution to generate more money by raising taxes on things they know people will pay forisn't it?

Just look at petrol, alcohol, cigarettes, cars and meat for example.

This is just another dirty tactic to sneak in extra tax. Using a man who lost his son as a mouthpiece for justification is just low. Especially when said man thinks he is doing some good in the process.
Even an idiot could tell you putting an extra 2 on 50cent's next record won't affect it's sales by much.

This is possibly the only time I have ever seen someone blame video games and rap music for an increase in crime without a hint of irony involved. To the *shudder* readers of the Daily Mail (and the like), this is right in key, but to gamers, it just shows again that instead of clamping down on knife crime, government officials are trying to find a lovely scapegoat that wasn't around when they were children. They've found two.

Oh, and might I add, using the parent of a murdered child to say things to give them extra 'oopmh' is just wrong - attempting to get empathy on the back of someone else's sorrow.

MarsProbe:

This won't get any support from me, that's for sure. This is nothing more than bandwagon jumping by Mr Taylor - I didn't see them blaming videogames for the cause of his sons death all those years back. Also, what a great way for the UK government to show how supportive it is of the gaming industry by taxing it more? That's really going to make this fair isle a really tempting proposition for games developers looking to set up shop, isn't it?

I thought that too, when that kid was killed, nobody blamed videogames at all, people just love to use them as a convenient scapegoat.

MA7743W:

I thought that too, when that kid was killed, nobody blamed videogames at all, people just love to use them as a convenient scapegoat.

I could very well be wrong, but I can't remember there actually being a specified scapegoat for that particular crime. Perhaps because those were comparatively rational times where they actually tended to blame crimes on the things that were actually likely to have caused them, not like today.

On a somewhat related note, I was in Gamestation today on my lunch and spotted a little kid of what, 6 maybe, standing in the queue clutching a copy of Prey for the 360 and crisp 20 note. I decided to watch with interest what would happen when the little kid tried to buy an 18-rated game, especially given that he barely tall enough to reach the top of the counter. Once he handed the game over, the sales guy took the box, put the game disc and manual in, stuck it in a bag and handed it back to the kid. By this time the kids parents (most likely) were standing next to him, so the sales guy pointed to the part of the game box where the 18 rating was (not that you could see, what with the game now being in a bag and all), so must have being pointing out to them the game carried an 18 rating. The dad just responded with the "ok, but it's just a game so it'll be fine" smile and they walked off. Just shows how easy it is though, given that the little guy was unaccompanied when he actually bought the game.

On the other hand, I have actually seen a woman in a Game branch refused a copy of a GTA game because she had a young child with her. Funnily enough, when being told that the game had some fairly adult content she basically said, "I thought it would be okay anyway, because it's a game". So maybe the shops that do so could stop selling these kinds of games to little kids and those parents that actually try and buy them for their kids look into things a bit more beforehand...

MarsProbe:
On a somewhat related note, I was in Gamestation today on my lunch and spotted a little kid of what, 6 maybe, standing in the queue clutching a copy of Prey for the 360 and crisp 20 note. I decided to watch with interest what would happen when the little kid tried to buy an 18-rated game, especially given that he barely tall enough to reach the top of the counter. Once he handed the game over, the sales guy took the box, put the game disc and manual in, stuck it in a bag and handed it back to the kid.

Report the guy to the manager (in a discreet way). By not informing the parents before hand and by taking the money from the kid he was commiting a criminal offence (carrying up to 5years in Jail amongst other things). More importantly though the Manager would also be held personally liable and face up 30'000 in fines. S/He will be acutely aware of this fact.

The guy probably wouldn't lose his job over it (unless he was persistently doing it), but being lazy like that can land you in such deep shit it's not funny. He needs to be more thorough.

Knife crime.

Look, even in maximum security prisons they can't stop inmates from obtaining stabbing weapons, what hope in hell do they think they can do the same in the wide world, unless they treat us like prisoners, constantly searched and restricting our movements. That is NOT a free and open society.

The ironic thing is Damilola Taylor was not even killed by a knife but by a broken bottle, are you going to ban glass now?

In fact the whole case is a fucking disgrace for the Metropolitan Police, a total of 9 separate people have been charged, often with people being acquitted then being retried again (fucked up double Jeopardy laws in UK) with terrible forensic standards. 6 years and 20 million, for two manslaughter convictions of Ricky and Charles Preddie (brothers) only to be paroled next year.

Crime.

Maybe the problem here is not the inanimate tool but the person who wields it. I prescribe to the view that you get diminishing returns in reducing crime as you use more and more stringent and draconian enforcement. In order to prevent that last 0.001% from murder, you will have to have a police state that meticulously monitors, sanctions and controls every aspect of the public's life.

What is known about the Preddie brothers (who were 12 and 13 at the time they killed Taylor) is they came from broken homes and even at their young age were on probation for serious crimes like armed robbery (with knives) yet they were allowed to walk free and interact with other children. If these teenagers had been properly punished THAT would have prevented the crime.

It didn't come out of nowhere, or from playing video games (in 2000 GTA3 had not even been released) But from the crime that was actually in these teenager's lives that social workers ignored!

bernthalbob616:

Aardvark:
Tax violent videogames to stop knife crimes...

Why not... y'know... tax... KNIVES???

And with that statement, you are more fit to run our country than Gordon Brown.

I agree as well, as both Bernthalbob and Gordon Brown have not been elected to their position. To Americans, Gordon Brown is effectively the same as Gerald Ford, unelected and only got the position after the leader was forced to retire, he took power by default.

It is a bit embarrassing as there is an unwritten rule he was supposed to call a general election but called it off at the last minute when he realised he'd probably lose. In fact he can delay as long as he likes the system is so deeply screwed.

For one thing videogames, at 40-50 are pretty expensive so what does he think a better price will be? Secondly how about enforcing game ratings and, oh yeah, how about finding proof that videogames incite murder before blaming them!

he's just an adviser because its good publicity. Its the way New Labour do things to appoint a gimmicky well paid advisory board then completely ignore all its suggestions except those they planned to do neway.

*facepalm
Because, of course, money will make the pain go away and/or deter people from buying games.
Where's he been buying his games? IF you can afford the average game, you're extremely likely not to be running in circles that think broken bottles are great idea.
Also of note "those dang young people" and "it's America's fault".

F'ing moron.

Here's an idea,

Stop selling violent games which are rated 18 to kids. Appeal to the parents to stop their children playing games underage.

But here's a better one...

DON'T RIP ME OFF FOR MY GAMES BECAUSE SOME FUCKTARD KIDS KEEP STABBING EACH OTHER!

Wheew, I feel better now.

Aardvark:
Tax violent videogames to stop knife crimes...

Why not... y'know... tax... KNIVES???

Exactly what I was thinking! And he didnt blame video games for murder, or gang violence, or teens dying, he blamed it for knife crime and knife-related violence, how do you blame something like video games on something as specific as knife crime? Knives have lots of practical uses, everybody has them somewhere and anyone can get their hands on them one way or another. Whether they are used in a violent manner or not is up to the individual and he/she should know better

Kandon Arc:
For one thing videogames, at 40-50 are pretty expensive so what does he think a better price will be? Secondly how about enforcing game ratings and, oh yeah, how about finding proof that videogames incite murder before blaming them!

Not quite sure how much that would equal out to in AUD but over here in Australia the average PS3 game is $90 - $120. When the PS3 and 360 first came outevery game for them was priced at $110 - $120, I thought this was some sick joke or a mistake. So far the only games lower in price are the ones you wouldnt buy anyway. Or kids games that wouldnt have any knife related mishaps in the first place

It seems like politicians like games as a scapegoat or just hate the game industry...

It also makes no sense that taxing violent games would slow knife crime. Games are easy enough to pirate, and if someone is able to stab someone to death, I think they can steal a tiny plastic case.

However, I do feel for the guy with the murdered kid. This just doesn't seem like the way to go about and stop knife crimes.

bernthalbob616:

Aardvark:
Tax violent videogames to stop knife crimes...

Why not... y'know... tax... KNIVES???

And with that statement, you are more fit to run our country than Gordon Brown.

my cats could run it better.

their platform: 1.kids should be kept under control by parents and far away from me
2. strangers (read: foreigners) should be watched closely and severely punished for any crime
3. food now. (read: more focus on production and safety of food supplies)
4. move the string, now. (read: develop tourism and seek answers to stress driven illnesses)
5. leave us alone (read: the people are smart enough to solve many of their own problems to not need the government to run their lives for them)
6. food now. (they stress this point)

Why not just tax... wait, someone else said that. Good point, anyway. Seriously? there are so many things wrong with this it makes my brain hurt.

...What videogame teaches you to use a KNIFE? In what Videogame is the knife anything but the shittiest weapon you get before you find a gun?

Why don't they just ban knives? Much easier.

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