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