Student Op-Ed: Electronics in Brazil

A few years ago, in my home country of Brazil, I was looking to buy new gaming products for my PC to try and improve its performance. But what I didn’t expect and what really surprised me was how high all the prices for these products were.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many people have had to find alternative forms of entertainment at home during the long periods of confinement. One of the main outlets used by Brazilians was electronic games. In 2020 compared to 2019, financial game transactions in Brazil increased by more than 130%. But it could be even more if the price of electronic games and accessories were cheaper.

Zoom’s Business Intelligence team made a price comparison of the first half of 2021, the average price of video games was 1,546.12 Brazilian dollars (about 300 US dollars), while in May this value is rose to 2,040.04 Brazilian dollars (about 400 US dollars), an increase of 32%. This is a huge difference for Brazilians, as the average person in Brazil earns around BR$1,600 (around US$302) per month. This price increase is due to taxes and the rise of the US dollar, as the products are imported into Brazil.

In Brazil, corruption has become too commonplace. The government can take advantage of this and create more taxes and increase the existing ones, to get more revenue. Some people call this a ripple effect, and it can be a big deal. As long as the country continues with an economy where social inequalities are reinforced by taxation in general, video games will remain luxury goods.

Video games are products that are often affordable only for the wealthiest people. For many people in Brazil, they are considered “scarce” items due to their high cost, which means that many Brazilians cannot afford them. But I’m concerned that cutting taxes alone is probably enough to bring prices down significantly, as the costs of other essentials are also high and eat up a large chunk of many Brazilians’ weekly and monthly paychecks.

So, upon reflection, a solid solution that I have would be to encourage the manufacture of these products and accessories in Brazil. In fact, in many cases, products made in their respective countries are cheaper when purchased in that country. I think Brazilian companies have the potential to create everything from scratch in Brazil, so we wouldn’t need to import so many items from other countries. It would help the entire gaming community to get these products easily and cheaply.

Another solution is to decrease the number of taxes on gaming products. Because these products are produced in other countries, Brazil must import them, which imposes high taxes on them. With these products built in Brazil, both prices and taxes would be reduced.

Brazil and all electronic companies should think about their gaming community. This would not only help the existing community, but also bring new people into the community, which could bring in more money. It would be win-win.

Lucas Moreno was born in Curitiba, Brazil. He is a junior at Lowell High School. He enjoys playing guitar, video games and practicing esports. Lucas wants to go to university and then become a civil engineer.

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