Is City's Plan to Build Virtual World a Waste of Tax Dollars ???

December 26, 2008 -

Last week GamePolitics broke the news that Decatur, Georgia was gathering information in the hope of building an avatar-based, virtual world (think Second Life / PlayStation Home) interface for its citizens.

Not surprisingly, there are those who see such a project as a waste of tax dollars.

Conservative blog Say Anything writes:

To help spur economic growth in their community the city leaders in Decatur, Georgia area creating an online virtual version of their city on Second Life.

Because I’m sure that’s just what those in Decatur who are struggling with economic downturn want.  Their tax dollars spent on a video game. I’ve born witness to some pretty sillly moments in economic development history, but this one takes the cake.

The whole idea of keeping taxes high so that politicians can spend the revenue on “developing” the economy is bogus to begin with, but spending those tax dollars on a video game takes a special kind of stupid."
 

Via: inDecatur


Comments

Re: Is City's Plan to Build Virtual World a Waste of Tax

I don't think theres anything wrong with government representing itself online to its citizens if its determined that enough of them are on Second Life to make it viable. But I don't see where it would be useful in attracting business development, especially since many corporations attempts at online advertising and the like in Second Life have not been borne out.

In general I'm not a big fan of economic development corporations, and how local towns tend to wield them. More often than not they are used to give ridiculous tax breaks and property subsidies to large corporations, ostensibly to bring in jobs, but often at the expense of smaller locally owned businesses. Many "urban redevelopment" projects push out mom and pop stores for high end chain stores or botiques selling luxury goods. Smaller firms in an area, which are often homegrown, do not receive the large tax breaks larger firms, often in the same industry, receive for often only temporarily reloacting for the length of time the company is given a tax break.

Re: Is City's Plan to Build Virtual World a Waste of Tax

As a game developer, critic, and as happenstance would have it, resident of Decatur GA, who received and read the RFI, I'm also unsure about whether or not this is a good idea. But it's worth noting that the city isn't sure of it either. An RFI is just that, a Request For Information, and if you read the document Dennis posted you'll see that the city's primary purpose is to determine how much such an enterprise would cost if they were to pursue it. A focus on frugality is clear in the RFI materials as well.

Decatur has high taxes, a strong local community, and a reputation for focusing on the development of that community, so the idea of creating a virtual social world for its current and potential residents isn't that far afield. After all, aren't we always talking about how socially galvanizing virtual worlds/MMOs are and stuff?

 

Re: Is City's Plan to Build Virtual World a Waste of Tax

I dunno for building and getting people to preview the place so they can move to it, its not that bad of a ieda, but like most seemingly good iedas is the price worth the cost.
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Re: Is City's Plan to Build Virtual World a Waste of Tax

 I would agree, it sounds like a bad idea.

Re: Is City's Plan to Build Virtual World a Waste of Tax

What? Conservatives afraid and skeptical of technology? Why, I never would have guessed!

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Re: Is City's Plan to Build Virtual World a Waste of Tax

In what way is this not a complete waste of taxpayer money? 

But if you'd prefer to harp on your idiotic comment that has no part in this discussion, go for it.  I fail to see how a 'virtual world' will help with their economy, other than to spend a million or two that could go towards something useful.

Re: Is City's Plan to Build Virtual World a Waste of Tax

In the same way that the City's municipal Wifi is not a waste of taxdollars. Ie the city probably wont pay for it.

Re: Is City's Plan to Build Virtual World a Waste of Tax

I smell a man who has an irrational loyalty to the word 'conservative'

Re: Is City's Plan to Build Virtual World a Waste of Tax

I smell a few who have an irrational disdain for it. Sure, they often don't have a great grasp of new techonology, but its hard to see this plan as anything BUT a waste of tax dollars.  Businesses won't be interested, advertisers won't be interested, and there's a good chance residents won't be interested either.

Re: Is City's Plan to Build Virtual World a Waste of Tax

Let the Game companies do a Social network, don't let the goverment do it for you(Waste of Tax money for gov, Goverment should only endorse SL or PSH)

 

right now Goverment should stick to fixing the economy so we dont end up in a Great Depression(My 2 cents)

America has just became its own version of the Jerry Springer Show after a bizarre moment in Florida involving a carnival worker.

Re: Is City's Plan to Build Virtual World a Waste of Tax

Well, I wouldn't use such an agressive and dismissive tone, but I do agree that it seems like a waste of public money.  Especially in the current economic climate.

 
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Matthew Wilsonhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3eD7zacG39I "Are eSports real sports and does it even matter?" is a solid video by TB on some of the controversy after heroes of the storm was on espn 204/28/2015 - 10:54am
james_fudgeTurns out laser cats are real in 2105.04/28/2015 - 10:08am
james_fudgeSorry I was time traveling this morning.04/28/2015 - 10:07am
E. Zachary KnightPHX, thanks. I fixed it.04/28/2015 - 9:14am
PHX CorpThere is a typo in the Gamestop raising 500K article, it should be 2015 not 210504/28/2015 - 8:36am
MattsworknameThis is the world now Colin, either get with the times, or get left behind. Your choice.04/28/2015 - 8:14am
Mattsworknamehttp://www.forbes.com/sites/insertcoin/2013/08/24/league-of-legends-finals-sells-out-las-staples-center-in-an-hour/04/28/2015 - 8:14am
Mattsworknamehttp://www.polygon.com/2014/7/29/5949773/dota-2-the-international-tournament-20-million-viewers04/28/2015 - 8:13am
Mattsworknamehe's not needed, not in the modern world, not in a world where more people attend the LOL finals for 5 million, then attend your average sports event.04/28/2015 - 8:12am
MattsworknameFunny that Colin Cowherd is so out of the times, he had to try multiple times to get the names of the games right. People like him are anachronisms.04/28/2015 - 8:10am
PHX Corphttp://kotaku.com/halo-mcc-esports-event-canceled-because-the-game-would-1700543158 Halo: MCC eSports Event Canceled Because The Game Wouldn't Work04/27/2015 - 10:15pm
Matthew Wilson@AE I know I was just stating where I stand on issues like that in general04/27/2015 - 8:12pm
Andrew EisenWho, Colin Cowherd? No one's suggesting he should be forced out. Or that he should commentate on video games.04/27/2015 - 8:10pm
Matthew Wilson@AE I do not think he should be forced ou though. he has his right to his opinion and shouldnt be forced out because people disagree with it.04/27/2015 - 8:07pm
ZippyDSMleeJim suggjested a pay what you want setup like humble bundel.04/27/2015 - 7:49pm
MontePerhaps they should just add a donation system for creators like the monthly pateron model. Only those who regularly make quality content can get compensated while those who would abuse the system are ignored04/27/2015 - 7:46pm
MontePaid mods is not a bad idea; i mean its only fair that makers be compensated and even better if they can do it full time. UNfortunatly there is too much that can go wrong and room for abuse04/27/2015 - 7:44pm
Andrew EisenYeah, working on that story now. Or rather, I'm working on finding time to write up that story.04/27/2015 - 7:40pm
Matthew Wilsonhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dll8eMJnTEE this crap is why sports fans and gamers dont get along. for love of god did I get sent back to 1995.04/27/2015 - 7:37pm
Matthew WilsonI do not think it will be the last time we see this. btw I am ok with paid mods.04/27/2015 - 7:10pm
 

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