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Govt advisor calls violent-videogame tax

Fears over alleged 'negative impact' of games on teens

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An advisor to Gordon Brown on knife crime and youth violence is to tell the Prime Minister that violent videogames should be taxed to put them out of the reach of kids.

Richard Taylor, who’s son Damilola was stabbed to death in south London nine years ago, this week told MPs that computer and console games are “too cheap”, according to a report by the Daily Telegraph newspaper.

He claimed that such games have a “negative impact” on youngsters and that any tax applied to them should be “very high” – although he declined to say exactly how much should be charged.

There have been numerous reports worldwide of youths mimicking violent games. For example, last year three US teens confessed to going on a Grand Theft Auto-style Molotov Cocktail crime spree.

Reporters covering this week's tragic events in Wissenden, Germany have already been quick to note killer Tim Kretschmer's penchant for violent videogames - conveniently ignoring the many, many thousands of 17-year-olds who also enjoy aggressive computer and console games yet don't re-enact them in real life.

But a trio of psychology reports examining the benefits of videogames all unanimously concluded that some titles can have positive effects on players.

However, congressman Joe Baca - a California Republican – has already proposed US legislation that would force some games to carry warnings about links between violent titles and GTA-style behaviour. ®

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