U.S. Senator Calls Video Game History Museum Grant Wasteful Spending

December 22, 2011 -

U.S. Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) is taking a bit of heat this week for saying that a $113,277 grant given to Rochester's International Center for the History of Electronic Games (ICHEG) is wasteful spending. He named it as one of a hundred "unnecessary, duplicative and low-priority projects" that the federal government spent money on in 2011. He released his annual report on wasteful spending in this report. Wars were not included in his list of 100 or lawmakers bloated salaries and luxurious healthcare benefits. Coburn also failed to mention video-game related projects being designed for the CIA, training simulations that use game technology, etc. that carry price tags in the millions...

"Video games, robot dragons, Christmas trees, and magic museums. This is not a Christmas wish list, these are just some of the ways the federal government spent your tax dollars," Coburn wrote in a statement, referring readers to a report [PDF format] attempting to call out wasteful federal money spending.

International Center for the History of Electronic Games director Jon-Paul Dyson wrote a rather lengthy response on his blog (reprinted on Gamasutra) defending the grant and the idea of preserving art.

"Can we imagine how researchers in the 22nd century will view the earliest groundbreaking interactive video?," asked Dyson. "Without the work of institutions like The Strong’s International Center for the History of Electronic Games the vitality and imagination of early gaming would be lost to future generations.”

"We don’t think this should happen," he continued. "So despite this recent criticism, we pledge to continue, and even to increase, our preservation efforts in the future. Like great novels, movies, music, and paintings of the past, video games are too important to lose."

Critics argue that, despite the noble efforts, it should not be the government's (and by proxy, taxpayers') job to support or preserve the history of video games. They say that the industry should do more to support such efforts, and finding more ways of getting private funding would be the right avenue to take. But supporters point out that, in the grand scheme of things, $113,000 is a drop in the bucket compared to some of the dumb stuff our money is spent on. Both sides make valid points, but does this grant rise to the level of wasteful spending that the Senator thinks it does? No. A good example of wasteful spending is when taxpayers are paying lawmakers a salary - even when they are out raising money for re-election...

Source: Gamasutra


Comments

Re: U.S. Senator Calls Video Game History Museum Grant ...

He's right. Every tax dollar the government spends is stolen from tax payers. People ignore that because they are so used to being robbed. If people would remember that then maybe people would remember that taxes should only be used for the most useful purposes and the rest given back to the people it was stolen from.

Re: U.S. Senator Calls Video Game History Museum Grant ...

I think it is wasteful spending, when we have other problems right now.

 

Save this one for later, when the economy is back on track.

Yes, I am a liberal. I also believe in a strong military, less government, and the right to bear arms. 

Re: U.S. Senator Calls Video Game History Museum Grant ...

I think video games yes need to be preserved for future generations to see the great advances we have had in such a short time but just dedicate an entire museum to video game at this time in our nations history would be wasteful since we have so much other issues to deal with.

I take my son the Museum of Science and Industry every year for the past two years and I noticed the grand majority of the museum is quite outdated from computer equipment and exhibits from 1991-93.

If you ever go to Chicago I recommend going the German U Boat is amazing and Old Town where a part of the museum has a literal 1910s type street with stores and even an old movie silent theater (With old fashion Ice Cream!) that’s the only outdated exhibit I expect to see.

Our current Museums need to be updated and to be honest they need to be held accountable. The African American Slavery museum is a big example where the guy opened took donations and tax money and items loaned and then filed for bankruptcy.

Even the Museum of Science and Industry they have a new exibit were it’s a literal Green house. Meaning a house that tries to be ‘green’ in every way. Not only is it promoting leftist propaganda for things no one can afford but it’s an exhibit no one will see because you have to pay a separate fee to see. And unless you’re a zealous leftist most people don’t shell out an extra 20-30 bucks to take a walk through of a literal house.

Also why not add in a video game exhibit to current museums? Museum of Science and Industry has one but just an arcade of free games of shity old racers.

I think gaming with its advancement in technology it will be inevitable until that technology makes it way into all museums.

 

Oh I love museums

Re: U.S. Senator Calls Video Game History Museum Grant ...

Eh, sadly, in regards to preservation, some game publishers would be all too happy to see a classic game vanish forever in the name of forcing people to get the latest one.

Re: U.S. Senator Calls Video Game History Museum Grant ...

Well if he wants to cut wasteful spending, there is a piece of potential legislation that feel pretty wasteful...

Re: U.S. Senator Calls Video Game History Museum Grant ...

A Republican senator has no right to call this wasteful spending. The Iraq war was wasteful spending.

Re: U.S. Senator Calls Video Game History Museum Grant ...

Actually, looking at his record, he apparently voted against the Iraq war spending... so when it comes to fiscial issues he puts his money where his mouth is.

He is, however, a bit of a monster.. including being in favor of the death penalty for abortion doctors (including rape cases) and was sued for involuntarily sterilizing a 20 year old... and of course works with The Family.. a rather corrupt organization that prostitutes young Christian girls..... so ethically he is pretty horrible.

Re: U.S. Senator Calls Video Game History Museum Grant ...

So, what you're saying is that he's the closest thing to an honest politician we'll ever see?

Re: U.S. Senator Calls Video Game History Museum Grant ...

Not really.  He is honest where it suits him, and a hypocrite where that suits him instead.

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