01 February 2008

No Child Left Inside

This morning I read an article about taxing videogames to pay for outdoor fitness programs. It doesn't apply to my state, at least not yet; I found that there are similar efforts in other states under the moniker No Child Left Inside. Getting kids moving is a good thing, but I can't decide whether I think this tax is a good or bad idea.

PROS:

--The proposed tax is 1%, which would only be about $5 added to the price of the average game console or 50 cents to the average game cartridge.

--Schools across the country have already cut recess and physical education programs under the pressure to improve academic test scores. This would help to counteract that trend.

--Kids today don't get as much time to explore nature as their parents and grandparents did. How can you expect kids to want to live a "green" lifestyle if they don't spend any time enjoying the thing they are trying to save?

CONS:

--Even though the proposed tax is only 1%, I understand why childless gamers don't want to pay it. As Chris Rock said in one of his stand-up routines (before he became a parent), people who chose not to have kids don't want to pay for the work that parents neglected to do.

--NM store owners are worried that more gamers will buy online to avoid the tax.

However, the main bone of contention with gamers seems to be the notion that TV and video games are the only obstacle to kids being more active. Some kids are just not interested in athletic pursuits. I know that when I was in grammar school, we didn't have the internet or TVs in every room with 100 channels to watch. Did I play outside? Only when my parents pushed me. My parents would drive us to the park and lock me out of the car to force me to get some fresh air and activity. I would just go sit on a bench and pout. You can drag the kids to the outdoor games, but you can't make them all play.

2 comments:

Gameguy said...

I had no idea this was happening. The whole idea of a sin tax really disturbs me.

Hey, thanks for turning me on to the spiel. It is now my favorite gaming podcast.

Geek's Dream Girl said...

Wow! That is pretty interesting and could open the floodgates. What else can we tax that keeps kids from going outside? TV? Books? Computers? Aquariums? ;-)