Taxing Video Games to Support Exercise?

The Other Mike found this over on the Huffington Post. Some do-gooders from the Sierra Club think kids need to spend more time outdoors instead of playing video games:

The Environmental Alliance of New Mexico is renewing its call for a one-percent sales tax on televisions and video games to fund outdoor education programs. The tax idea, initiated by the Sierra Club, would raise an estimated $4 million a year, to fund programs aimed at giving school kids an outdoors education.

What I want to see is a statement from a lobbyist representing EA Sports explain that Madden, when played responsibly, can be part of a healthy lifestyle.

Then when this gets closer to becoming a reality, we’ll start hearing from right-wing talkers explaining that there is no scientific link between video games and obesity. Out best approach is to keep studying the issue for now.

And the old-timers will chime in with: “$4 million for an outdoors education?” What ever happened to kicking kids out of the house and telling them to go play? That’s an education and it doesn’t cost $4 million – I’ll tell you that right now.

One thought on “Taxing Video Games to Support Exercise?”

  1. I’ll add a couple points, since this obviously peaked my interest enough to forward it to you–
    –I see this as just another ‘sin’ tax like the current ones on alcohol and tobacco, et al. And I totally see the massive time our youth are spending on video games as being a sin, the sin of sloth. I totally agree with your lightly veiled retort about ‘best approach is to keep studying the issue’…it seems pretty darn obviously harmful, doesn’t it?
    –Then, the kicking of kids outside raises another point, which is the recreation rules have changed…drive your neighborhoods and count the kids out playing in their own yards, or even running or biking in the streets, or even WALKING SOMEWHERE. That is 90% of how I spent my time as a youth, playing games with the kids in my hood, biking and walking around town. All you see these days of ‘active’ kids is them being minivanned from soccer team to baseball team to swim team. Does anyone (under 25) just step outside in summer and just throw a frisbee or play catch with a baseball or football with a neighbor kid in the street out front…even in the vaunted ‘burbs’?

    Well, if this era is long gone, then I’m all for pulling $4 million out of the hands of video gamers to dole out to youth ski x-c clubs (and starving x-c ski coaches like me who had to give up their job because none of these kids ski anymore) and youth running clubs like a friend of mine is trying to get started here because none of these kids feel free to even just run anymore without constant adult supervision and safety instruction. Maybe then people will realize there are other ways to spend their time besides sitting on their thumbs.

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