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 :

Poll

Which Feminist Frequency video are you looking forward to most?:

Shout box

You're not permitted to post shouts.
Goth_Skunk@WonderKarp: And that's why I don't read or watch mainstream news.01/29/2015 - 5:06pm
Matthew Wilsonzip is it KB or kb? if its KB its MB, if its kb is mb. ether way where do you live that you are getting ripped off that badly?01/29/2015 - 4:41pm
ZippyDSMleeI has a whole 1MB(mb mabye, 1000KBPS) for a whole...100$ a month ;_;01/29/2015 - 4:24pm
WonderkarpFCC appears to be kicking ass today01/29/2015 - 4:11pm
WonderkarpI found this neat. Shows the different ways different websites tell the same story. Not VG Related, but its neat https://i.imgur.com/3m6xOfE.jpg01/29/2015 - 2:12pm
Matthew Wilsonnp I am still suprised that the fcc did it, but I still do not trust the chairman yet.01/29/2015 - 2:11pm
Andrew EisenYeah, what I mean is I'm fortunate enough to live in an area where I have the option of up to 50Mbps if I want to pay for it. Meant that as an anecdote; didn't mean it to come across as a "you're wrong!" Sorry 'bout that!01/29/2015 - 2:06pm
Matthew WilsonThat is why I said "every market". for example totalbescuit has TWC, and the best he can get atm is 10/10.01/29/2015 - 1:58pm
Andrew EisenTWC offers speeds that high, at least in my area. (Standard is 15Mpbs)01/29/2015 - 1:54pm
Matthew Wilson@prh I still have my doubts. if anything the big winner is Comcast. they are the only isp in the us that can provide that speed in every market they serve. att, verizon, and twc cant or at least dont.01/29/2015 - 1:50pm
Andrew EisenTrailer for Ted 2 and it looks like it won't simply be a rehash of the first. That's encouraging! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S3AVcCggRnU01/29/2015 - 1:49pm
prh99It's nice to see an FCC chair who isn't just there to facilitate monopoly building for cable and telecom. Basically not a dingo.01/29/2015 - 1:46pm
Wonderkarpmine was grandia 201/29/2015 - 1:39pm
Matthew Wilsonoh btw only about 5.6 percent of the us has broadband now.01/29/2015 - 1:21pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.theverge.com/2015/1/29/7932653/fcc-changed-definition-broadband-25mbps did not think the fcc would go through with it.01/29/2015 - 1:16pm
Andrew EisenI know, right? Don't you dare think the fact that I buy all your games makes this sort of behavior okay, TT Games!01/29/2015 - 12:57pm
IanCHow dare thy release games that do well both commercially and critically. How dare they. (refer to the Lego games)01/29/2015 - 12:55pm
Infophile@Wonderkarp: Tales of Innocence. Was in the final dungeon, when I accidentally left my 3DS on an airplane and couldn't get it back. Lost both the game and the system. Got a new system, but not the game (not fun enough to be worth replaying)01/29/2015 - 12:10pm
Andrew EisenOh, thank goodness. There will be at least two console LEGO games this year. For a moment I was worried there! (LEGO Jurassic World, LEGO Marvel's Avengers plus LEGO Ninjago for handheld.)01/29/2015 - 12:08pm
prh99Cminer: It's the only way to monetize Nintendo game videos. Otherwise Nintendo content IDs them and take all the AD revenue. Also it's only covers a small portion of their catalog.01/29/2015 - 12:06pm
 

Be Heard - Contact Your Politician