Game Development

Should Violent Games Be Taxed More? Here is Our Analysis

By Muhammad Bilal Syahrir

We have a logic answer for this case.


There are a lot of violent games spread across the world right now. Because of their negative influence, especially for children, a question emerged: should violent games be taxed more?

Should violent games be taxed more? This topic came to mind after a tragic shooting accident in Florida, United States. Not only that, we bring this topic up because Rhode Island’s (a state in the US) representative Robert Nardolillo proposed extra taxes for violent games.

What’s interesting is that the taxes charged will be fully delivered to mental health and counseling resources. They proposed that games with an M-for-Mature or higher rating for ESRB should be taxed 10% more.

This means games like Grand Theft Auto V that costs US$60 on Steam will eventually cost US$66 after tax. And of course, the additional amount will be charged to consumers.

In Indonesia, there is a game rating system that has been conducted by The Ministry of Communication and Information Technology of Indonesia (Kemkominfo). The rating system is called Indonesia Games Rating System (IGRS).

Should We Blame Video Games for Massive Shooting Incident in US?

Recently, we were shredded to tears when an unwanted incident happens in Parkland, Florida. But some people are blaming video games. So the question is: should we blame video games for the massive shooting incident in the US? We try to answer.

If we look at that, games that are M-rated in ESRB would be 18+ years old categorized in IGRS. But, let’s go back to the main question: should violent games be taxed more?

Well, let’s look from a consumer perspective. We all want our kids to not be consumed by these types of game. We do not want tragedies such as shooting massacre in schools happen.

So, by implementing an extra tax for 18+ games is a logical idea. But, it is also worth noting (as mentioned in our previous article) that Indonesia does have a regulation which strictly prohibits the ownership of guns.

Also, there are a couple of developers that are focusing their games on the violent genre. These type of developer should be appreciated for their creativity in the gaming industry. It is such a shame to charge their violent games more.

Should Violent Games Be Taxed More

So our conclusion would be: since Indonesia has a strict policy in gun ownership, games that contain guns as their main background should not or should slightly be taxed more. These types of game can be for example Tom Clancy’s: The Division or Counter-Strike.

However, games that are harmful and visioned “physically harmful” such as BullyWWE, or Grand Theft Auto should be taxed more because these types of games are the ones that can affect the society deeply, especially in Indonesia.

Should Violent Games Be Taxed More

That is our analysis of how the government should take action on the violent game genre. What do you think? Do you agree or do you disagree? Share your thoughts on the commentary below.

Source: GameSpot. Edited by Devi

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My main mission: Making Indonesian Game Industry big!