Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Swedish Lan Tax

I like living in Sweden, it's great here!  The people are friendly, the area I live is green and very scenic and the finals for Starcraft 2 at Dreamhack were broadcast on live TV so I was able to watch it in HD on a massive TV.

But then I discover something about Sweden that pisses me right the fuck off.


This article (written in English, don't worry) is about a tax that gamers will have to pay if they want to have LAN events in Sweden.  You can go read the article, it doesn't give an exact value for how much one would have to pay, but it doesn't sound fucking cheap.

Anyway, the tax itself doesn't really effect me, I'm not the kind of person who participates or manages LAN events.  It really sucks for you guys who do but my wallet isn't going to be affected so me being angry about the cost wouldn't mean much.

That said, what does upset me quite greatly is how video gaming is viewed by the Swedish government or whoever the hell is in charge of this shit.  Basically, the people who made this decision was the Swedish Gambling Board.  They said, and it's a quote in the article, that there is no difference between video games and slot machines.

Now this really pisses me the fuck off, not because of what was said, but because what it implies about people in positions of power.  It's quite clear from that quote, that people in government positions, and not just in Sweden, don't have the first fucking clue when it comes to video games.

Every controversy over violence, sexism or anything like that, every shitty badly researched news story and shit thing to come out of a politicians mouth when it comes to gaming is because they don't have a fucking clue what's going on in this industry.  What's worse is that it's these clueless fucksticks that are allowed to pass rules on whats OK and what's not and all if you have to do is look at places like Australia and Germany to see how well that's going.

If news outlets and government bodies are going to start making reports and passing rules on stuff related to gaming, they need to hire some people who are actually clued in.  Hell, I wouldn't be surprised if that whole image of gamers being an angry, whiny bunch would fall away once stupid bullshit like this stops happening.

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