Proposal would tax violent video games to fund mental health resources in schools

Proposal would tax violent video games to fund mental health resources in schools



PROVIDENCE — For years, extreme violence in video games has been cited as a contributing factor in violent incidents. Now a Republican legislator is looking to make them part of the solution.

State Rep. Robert Nardolillo III, of Coventry, is preparing to introduce legislation that would fund increased mental health and counseling resources in schools by implementing a tax on video games rated as “Mature” or higher.

Nardolillo, who is seeking his party’s nomination for the U.S. Senate, said, “This bill would give schools the additional resources needed to help students deal with that aggression in a positive way.”

Nardolillo said this week that states cannot ban the sale of certain video games to minors, but he believes his proposal would address possible issues caused by video game violence by allocating money to counteract any aggression they may cause in users.

Under the proposal, games rated as “M” for mature, “A” for adult-only, or titles that do not receive proper ratings would be subject to an additional 10 percent sales tax in Rhode Island. Nardolillo said that revenue would then be designated into a special fund for use by school districts to fund counseling, mental health programs, and other conflict resolution activities.

All U.S.-based video games are subject to rating through the Entertainment Software Rating Board.

Jason Vallee


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