Myriad studies link violent shows to later violent crimes. Habitual violent games can deaden players to violence and others' pain.

Fighting games are a fourth of the $5-plus billion video game market. Children act out and even set up grisly killings and dismemberments in such games - often encouraged by ganglike applause.Ratings fall way short. Gamemakers' labels should inform parents how many of each separate felony (46 to 58 killings; 82-98 beatings, etc.) a player can perform. Such a "Violent Crime Impact Statement" should also appear when the game starts. Penalties by law would apply for mislabeling of contents.

To help deter violent crimes, state and federal jurisdictions could assess fees in proportion to impact (i.e., sales income) and ratioed to a jurisdiction's maximum first-offense sentence for each violent felony times the count of that felony used within the interactive game.

Sellers of violent crime games must compute and remit fees to help cover law enforcement costs due largely to violent crimes. Laser tag, hockey, boxing games, etc., aren't crimes; no fees apply.

Lawmakers could revise fees just by altering the fee multiplier. First-offense sentences already scale killing - first degree vs. "just" killings. There would be no ban, but prices would go up to deter violence and cut subsidies for violence peddlers who pay nothing for crimes they spawn.

Paul Reimann


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