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Oklahoma tax break proposal snubs mature videogames

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An Oklahoma state senator has proposed tax breaks for game developers, but only if the games being made aren't rated M for Mature by the ESRB.

Films, commercials and TV projects already get tax incentives in the state with only a an obvious restriction on hardcore porn, but games have thus far been left out in the cold. The new proposal was made by Senator Anthony Sykes, who apparently would rather not exclude Mature games, which is hypocritical, given the breaks other media get. However, it seems that pressure from other, grudge-bearing politicians has seen the snub come into effect.

According to Sykes, other senators were very interested in enforcing age restrictions on this tax proposal, and that the only way to get their support was to acquiesce and make the rather petty clause. It's worth pointing out that Oklahoma attempted one of those famous unconstitutional videogame laws in 2006, too, so it has a history of wanting to control videogames. It looks like forcing a restriction into the proposal is a rather bitter way of keeping the spirit of the failed legislation alive.

Either way, shoehorning the age restriction condition into this proposal is a stupid move. With the state already suffering from a budget shortfall, encouraging developers to work in Oklahoma would definitely help. However, since some politicians refuse to let go of this "videogames are evil" mindset, they are cutting off Oklahoma's nose to spite its face. Telling game studios what they can and can't make for a tax break isn't a good way of convincing them to move to your state, geniuses.

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Jim Sterling
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Filed under... #Politics #STOOPID! #Utterly pathetic

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