Bid to Tax Video Games Incites Gamers; Might They Organize?


Felix Ortiz is a pain in the ass. In 2007 the Brooklyn assemblyman tried to get beer advertising out of the subways. Earlier this year he wanted to add taxes on strip clubs and beer, wine, and liquor — beer, wine, and liquor, Mandrake!

He has also introduced a doozy before the legislature: an “additional tax on certain food and drink items, computer games, movies, and compact discs.” This bill went up in January, and is currently bottled in ways and means, as is his alcohol tax; though no new tax proposal is safely dead in Albany, we may yet hope.

But the bill has suddenly come to the attention of gaming enthusiasts, sparking an outburst of interest among the console-bound, drawing posts from Game Politics, Slashdot, Go Nintendo, and other sites where gamers lurk. “Oh New York… there are times when I miss you a ton,” says G4tv. “There are other times when I’m happy to be free of the state’s ridiculous politicians… to me, this [bill] is just an excuse for lazy parenting.”

Might this get gamers to get political — maybe even organize to make their needs known in Albany? Though we tend to regard them as loners, we know that they are able to gather in public when the motivation is strong — as they did with the release of Wrath of the Lich King. Gamers have been hard hit by the economy, and many professionals have been forced into retirement or retail. Maybe they should have a protest. We can call it a Wii Party! Photo by John DeSio.


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