Grants for Gaming Make Government Waste List

December 21, 2010 -

A list called "Government Waste: 20 Of The Craziest Things That The U.S. Government Is Spending Money On" finds several projects funded by the government related to video games. Of course lists that are considered "waste" by some groups actually have a deeper purpose than what is listed in the descriptions, but the people that put this particular list together (I hope) would know that.

At #17 on their list is a $600,000 grant given to the Minnesota Zoo by the National Science Foundation to develop an online video game called "Wolfquest". Located at WolfQuest.org, the project is actually a single-player game that is broken into two episode and a multiplayer component. In the first episode of the game players "explore the wilderness, hunt elk, and encounter stranger wolves in a quest to find a mate." In the second episode players "find a den, establish a territory, raise pups and defend them from predators such as coyotes and grizzly bears." The multiplayer component lets up to five players form a wolf pack. The point of the game is to teach players about learn about wolf ecology.

The second video-game related items land at #17. A professor at Dartmouth University received a grant for $137,530 to create a "recession-themed" video game entitled "Layoff". Located at www.tiltfactor.org , the game is not a new project by any stretch of the imagination. According to the site, "LAYOFF uses a simple casual game paradigm to comment on the current state of the US financial crisis. Both friends and strangers face tough times in an unstable economy. Part dark humor, mostly grim portent, in the game players play from the side of management needing to cut jobs, and match types of workers in groups in order to lay the workers off and increase workforce efficiency."

At #14 we find $5,000 dollars given to an unnamed Tennessee library to host a series of video game parties. We assume these are somehow related to the Wii.. Libraries love the Wii.

So what was the most outrageous distribution of federal grant money, according to the list? At #1 on this list is a study of World of Warcraft and Second Life. Around $3 million was given to researchers at the University of California at Irvine to play and study online games such as World of Warcraft. The goal is to study how "emerging forms of communication, including multiplayer computer games and online virtual worlds such as World of Warcraft and Second Life can help organizations collaborate and compete more effectively in the global marketplace."

A multitude of these entries come from Wastebook, a publication of wasteful spending put together by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.). While well intentioned, these reports do not tend to do any research beyond some cursory reading of the lead description for each study they unearth. Usually there is a deeper level of research going on. To be fair, some of the entries on the list are a real waste of taxpayer funds.

Read the list with commentary here.


Comments

Re: Grants for Gaming Make Government Waste List

 add mandatory healthcare, and the repealing of DADT to that list.

Re: Grants for Gaming Make Government Waste List

Me, I'd say Tom Coburn's salary is a pretty big waste of tax dollars.

I remember back when she was running for veep Sarah Palin blathered about how the US government was wasting money on fruit fly research -- which in point of fact has been integral to genome research, but of course she's not really the pro-science type.

I don't think Second Life and WoW are bad places for research at all.  We've already learned some fascinating things about economics from gold farming.

Re: Grants for Gaming Make Government Waste List

You honestly expect people to agree that, with the government being in as much debt as it is, with few signs of the current administration willing to do anything about it, that spending taxpayer dollars on gaming - outside of tax breaks for game developers - is anything but a waste of money?

Studying WoW communication?  Give me a fucking break.

---

With the first link, the chain is forged.

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

Re: Grants for Gaming Make Government Waste List

WoW also had a pretty nasty plague outbreak that was studied by the CDC

Forgot your password?
Username :
Password :

Shout box

You're not permitted to post shouts.
InfophileRetailer exclusives are the worst preorders, especially when there's more than one. It's just trying to take advantage of the hardcore fans who want all the bonuses.08/31/2015 - 5:00pm
Andrew EisenNeat idea for a comic: single parent trying to raise a kid with superpowers. http://www.dennis-liu.com/08/31/2015 - 4:35pm
Goth_SkunkFound a fascinating youtube series from The Oxford Union: Right To Free Speech And Right To Offend. http://ow.ly/RBGLH08/31/2015 - 4:31pm
Goth_SkunkBig Perm sure likes people's hair. Sadly, I shave my head bald, so I will never be noticed by their fine tastes. D:>08/31/2015 - 4:28pm
Andrew EisenMethinks Super Podcast Action Committee will be talking pre-order shenanigans this weekend!08/31/2015 - 3:59pm
Andrew Eisenhttp://www.capcom-unity.com/gregaman/blog/2015/08/31/sfv-pre-order-costumes-and-collectors-edition-for-north-america08/31/2015 - 3:52pm
Andrew EisenMore pre-order crap but pretty neat alt-costumes for Street Fighter 5. Love it when they take the time to model new outfits and hairstyles as opposed to going the easy route with a palette swap. Pick your favorite because each is retailer exclusive...08/31/2015 - 3:52pm
WymorenceI wish I could say I'm surprised by Squenix's actions here, but I recall one of the last Tomb Raiders doing the same thing...08/31/2015 - 3:49pm
PHX Corphttp://www.polygon.com/2015/8/31/9232741/deux-ex-mankind-divided-preorder-stunt Deux Ex: Mankind Divided is the latest AAA game to hold its biggest fans in contempt08/31/2015 - 2:49pm
Big PermHer hair does look pretty good tho08/31/2015 - 2:34pm
Brad GlasgowIt's the same argument as all her videos. She argues that the tropes reinforce bad behavior. She has no evidence to support that.08/31/2015 - 2:27pm
InfophilePredictions: 1) People will be mad and criticize her without even watching the video. 2) People will be upset that she criticizes things they like without thinking about whether the criticism has merit08/31/2015 - 1:29pm
E. Zachary KnightYay! New Tropes Vs Women in Games video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QC6oxBLXtkU08/31/2015 - 11:33am
E. Zachary KnightPHX, I love the comic. Also, I love the story of shear paranoia on the part of the MPAA.08/31/2015 - 9:41am
PHX Corphttps://torrentfreak.com/mpaa-demands-extraordinary-measures-to-prevent-piracy-150830/ MPAA Demands Extraordinary Measures To Prevent Piracy08/31/2015 - 7:52am
PHX Corphttp://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost.php?p=176931667&postcount=12 although it's a little late, a comic strip on neogaf about the "release it now, patch it later" culture08/30/2015 - 7:37am
Papa MidnightBack to when, RedMade? A week ago? (seriously, though...)08/30/2015 - 1:55am
RedMageOh hey, a news station is trying to scapegoat gaming. That takes me back. https://twitter.com/GamingAnarchist/status/63754361236507443208/29/2015 - 1:40pm
Big PermA link to TB twitter with Matt Lees in the replies - https://twitter.com/Totalbiscuit/status/52528604482949939208/29/2015 - 12:16pm
Brad GlasgowWhy would he say the company lies about getting abuse? Oh, because people don't abuse GG?08/29/2015 - 10:38am

Be Heard - Contact Your Politician