EU Dumps €275k into Pedestrian Looking "Government RPG"

August 30, 2010 -

The European Service Network (ESN), operating under a budget of 275,000 Euros (approximately $349,000 U.S.) from the European Parliament's Directorate-General for Communication, is developing an online role-playing game—and social networking forum—that it hopes will capture “the essence of European Parliament.”

Named Citzalia, the online experience was compared to Second Life and will have users create an avatar before being able to,  “navigate around a virtual recreation of the actual Parliament, to create content, and to involve themselves in virtual law-making.”

Additionally, it was promised that “You can be a Member of the European Parliament (MEP), a journalist, a student or any role you want to create.”

The embedded video, which offers a little taste of Citzalia, has drawn the ire of a few commenters (nothing new for YouTube) wondering why a game with such a lofty budget would feature “cheap” graphics of “appalling” quality. Comments included “This is a joke, right?,” “Doom 2 engine looks better than this,” “For this I pay taxes?,” and “This game is not real. There are no lobbyists...”

Beta testing is expected to begin in late September.


Via the Wall Street Journal

Comments

Re: EU Dumps €275k into Pedestrian Looking "Government ...

I registered for the Beta out of sheer morbid curiosity, but I don't expect this to be a stunning display of game development. Seems that the target audience is the type that finds C-SPAN to be quality entertainment, (of which I'm borderline guilty.)

Then again, I leave myself open to surprise. As an American with no experience with the European Parliament, I'm not sure what to expect. If it's closer to what I've seen from the UK's PM Questions sessions, (what Robin Williams called "Congress with a two-drink minimum,") then this could be a little fun.

A side note. The article promises that you can become a MEP, however when I tried to do so the form threw an error stating that I would have to use my "official email address" to sign up as a MEP or EP Official. The only option available to me was that of EU Citizen.

We'll see how this plays out once it goes live.

 

Re: EU Dumps €275k into Pedestrian Looking "Government ...

I think you were generous with the "pedestrian" description. Bland, bland, bland. There are plenty of shoestring budget games with imaginative visual design.

The game's graphics are as bureaucratized as government is. So unwilling to offend, they offend by their drabness.

On another note, will backroom dealings be allowed? Can I play a lobbyist and take politicians to a strip club or offer them post-political jobs/speaking arrangements/book deals?

Re: EU Dumps €275k into Pedestrian Looking "Government ...

While I wouldn't consider $349,000 a "lofty" budget, I would expect something a bit better looking than your average Newgrounds contributer could throw together in a couple days with no budget.  Long as the game has depth, I think they'll be fine with those visuals if they just fix the way the avatar's move around the maps.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: EU Dumps €275k into Pedestrian Looking "Government ...

What do you expect for government work?

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With the first link, the chain is forged.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: EU Dumps €275k into Pedestrian Looking "Government ...

I expect better.  But I'm not surprised when I don't get it.

 

Andrew Eisen

 
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benohawkThe majority of the blame is on the person overreacting, but if they're still reacting to a real slight then the victim was part of the problem07/31/2015 - 3:28pm
Andrew EisenSure but your analogy doesn't work because cutting someone off means you're in the wrong. Writing an opinion piece does not.07/31/2015 - 3:28pm
benohawkIm not disagreeing that it was an overreaction, I'm saying that if someone beats my ass for cutting them off doesn't mean that I was blameless despite my mistake07/31/2015 - 3:26pm
benohawkI doubt it would of helped goth. it seems a lot of the people who blew up were just waiting for any issue to let loose07/31/2015 - 3:25pm
Andrew EisenI disagree with blaming an overreaction on what people are overreacting to.07/31/2015 - 3:24pm
Goth_Skunkpositions and apologize for any confusion they may have caused. Unless their intent WAS to provoke a sleeping lion, in which case... here we are.07/31/2015 - 3:20pm
Goth_SkunkAn overreaction that probably would not have happened if Gamasutra's article was the only one ever written. And an overreaction that could have also been calmed had the authors all collectively retracted or written follow-up pieces to clarify their07/31/2015 - 3:20pm
benohawkAndrew, neither side is blameless there. Through poor planning or deliberate attempts to offend those articles did push a bad situation to the worse. and the people who blew up are guilty for their reaction07/31/2015 - 3:19pm
Andrew EisenGoth - And the blame for that rests solely on the ding bats who grossly overreacted to a handful of opinion pieces.07/31/2015 - 3:11pm
Andrew EisenHere's a fun fact: Only two of the authors of the "Gamers Are Dead" articles (of which there are about 12) were on the Game Journo Pros list.07/31/2015 - 3:10pm
Goth_SkunkNo! No! Of course not! Nothing wrong with that at all! Nevermind that those articles spawned a huge, almost year-long consumer revolt and culture war that no one in the industry can deny exists. :^)07/31/2015 - 3:10pm
Andrew EisenThere's also nothing wrong with publishing an opinion you know is going to be unpopular with some. So long as it's genuine, anyway.07/31/2015 - 3:08pm
Andrew EisenEh, could be laziness, lack of imagination, bandwagon hopping or maybe Alexander's article inspired them to publish their own takes. Nothing wrong with that.07/31/2015 - 3:06pm
Goth_SkunkIf laziness was indeed the reason other sites produced articles of a similar vein, the laziness must reach levels that would make a cat blush. How lazy does one have to be unable to stop and think "maybe this isn't a good idea...'07/31/2015 - 3:04pm
Andrew EisenThe Mary Sue article title I'm a bit more comfortable being called clickbait as it's a deliberate misdirection but it's done for humor's sake so I personally give such things a pass.07/31/2015 - 3:01pm
Andrew EisenI count six similar titles and two of the authors aren't even journalists, let alone game journalists. It doesn't reek of collusion, it reeks of laziness, if anything. A few others saw Alexander's piece and wrote their own.07/31/2015 - 3:00pm
Goth_Skunkfeed. Additionally, I'm baffled by the irony of someone named 'Infophile' taking a Mary Sue article seriously. Ignoring that I won't give that site a second of my time, that article headline is blatant clickbait and should be ignored on principle.07/31/2015 - 2:58pm
Goth_SkunkI agree with Benohawk: The title of the article meant that the article was worth ignoring. Alas, when 9 additional sites pop up with similarly titled articles of their own, it reeks of collusion and an attempt by the press at large to bite the hands that07/31/2015 - 2:56pm
Andrew EisenAh, okay.07/31/2015 - 2:46pm
benohawkI'm saying that the refrence in the article to the old title would need to be changed well the primary point of the article would be kept the same. Not something that should be an issue if the objective wasn't to be provocative.07/31/2015 - 2:41pm
 

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