The video game industry has received its fair share of controversy and criticism over the decades, and there are those who believe that many violent acts committed by young people are caused by exposure to violent Video Games. Many games have come under fire for their depictions of violence, including hugely popular ones such as "Grand Theft Auto," "Call of Duty," and "Tomb Raider." The issue of violence in video games has again reared its head and one state representative from Rhode Island has proposed that violent video games should be taxed more than non-violent ones.

Funds for mental health services

Robert Nardolillo, a state representative for Rhode Island suggested that a tax be put in place for violent video games, the extra proceeds of which would go towards counseling and mental health resources. The proposed tax would see an extra 10 percent sales tax be put on violent video games that are sold in Rhode Island and carry an M-for-Mature or higher rating. The current price of a new game is currently about $64 but, should this tax come into effect, that figure would rise to $70 given the extra tax.

Aid for schools

Nardolillo said the extra money would be put in a "special account" and would be dispersed to school districts in order to help fund mental health programs, counseling sessions, and "other conflict resolution activities." "Our goal is to make every school in Rhode Island a safe and calm place for students to learn," Nardolillo said.

"By offering children resources to manage their aggression today, we can ensure a more peaceful tomorrow."

2013 taxes

Following the Sandy Hook shooting in 2013, a lawmaker from Connecticut suggests a similar tax as the one proposed by Nardolillo. A representative from Missouri also pushed for a tax that same year and, in both these cases, the extra funds were forwarded to Mental Health Services.

However, so far neither of these bills have become law.

Video games and violence

This is far from the first time video games have been blamed for causing violence among young people, and it likely won't be the last. Many studies have been conducted over the years but, so far, no real link between violence in the real world and video games has ever been found.

Some argue that violent games must have an effect on children whilst others say games are just one factor in many. No doubt some gamers would be happy to pay a little extra, knowing the money is going to mental health services, but there would certainly be those who are opposed to such action.