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 WilsonI know most of my friends first saw robotech when it was on Toonami in the mid 90s, but it is possible that a fan who watched it in the 80s are in a position to do it.03/27/2015 - 1:04pm
Andrew EisenRobotech was mid 80s. Fans of the show (who were kids when it aired) are my age and older.03/27/2015 - 1:01pm
Matthew Wilsontiming. anime only really became widely known in the US in the mid 90s. if we assume it was mostly kids watching it, they still wouldnt be high enough in managment to be given full creative control yet. it would still be another 5 to 10 years for that.03/27/2015 - 12:59pm
Andrew EisenI agree. Now what makes you think that there is no one in power who cares about (or has the ability to) make a good adaptation?03/27/2015 - 12:47pm
Matthew Wilsonits not about pratice, it is about people who understand it getting in to positions of power.03/27/2015 - 12:34pm
Matthew Wilsonallot of the comic book characters that have been turned in to good movies started in the 70s or earlier.03/27/2015 - 12:32pm
Andrew EisenWell, if it really does take two generations of practice to get it right, we'll never get good live action adaptations of anime if no one starts making them.03/27/2015 - 12:31pm
Andrew EisenWhat have you seen that would make you say that?03/27/2015 - 12:30pm
Matthew WilsonIt took 2 genarations of comic book reader before we got good comic book movies. I imagine that will be the case for anime as well.03/27/2015 - 12:28pm
Matthew Wilson@AE yes if they have people that understand the content give it a shot, but as far as I can tell that does not look like it is happening in this case.03/27/2015 - 12:26pm
Andrew EisenI understand the skepticism but I don't think "this will never work" and "no one should even bother" are very healthy attitudes.03/27/2015 - 12:11pm
Andrew EisenWhy would you doubt that? A lot of writers are my age and older, the perfect age to be fans of the content. All I'm saying is it's not impossible to get a good Robotech movie. In fact, it's more likely today than any other time.03/27/2015 - 12:11pm
Matthew Wilson@AE the difference is in the case of marvel the writers and directors clearly understand the source content. I doubt many of any of them are that way with robotech, or any anime for that matter.03/27/2015 - 11:10am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.playstationtrophies.org/news/news-15838-Sony-Cuts-the-Price-of-PlayStation-TV-Today.html Sony cuts the price of the Vita TV in the UK, still wont force developers to make their stuff compatible with it.03/27/2015 - 10:49am
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ZippyDSMleeOh live action crap...I dunno with hollywood being stuck in the 90s grimdarkblack mode I can not see how anything would work well other than SNK or Akira.. then again Akira is a bit of head trip...03/27/2015 - 10:11am
MechaCrashI meant Hollywood in general. If they did a Robotech movie, it'd just be a slightly tweaked Macross, because usually when people talk about Robotech, they just mean the first third. Nobody cares about the Masters/Southern Cross or Invid/MOSPAEDA stuff.03/27/2015 - 9:36am
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