Video Games: A Taxpayer Expense

In the spirit of Video Game Day, which we were all exceedingly thrilled about, we thought it would be a perfect opportunity to review some of the adventures into the gaming world that have been federally funded by taxes. Contrary to the “free” labels, these games were not developed for free. That’s right. Everyone’s tax dollars have gone to make these video games, and it’s pretty apparent that we weren’t consulted in these decisions.

Prom Week

The NSF has awarded $516,000 in grants to date in order to develop a game in which you simulate social interactions in a high school setting. The goal was to work on artificial intelligence engines that take new strides toward complex interactions. While the game design is somewhat unique and may have implications for future game design down the road, it is unclear that this research would benefit people who aren’t into gaming.

Furthermore, the game itself has its share of problems. On its own terms, it is simply not something that many people want to play. The Facebook page isn’t exactly brimming with traffic. The gameplay interface looks smooth, but the operation is can be clunky at times with poor feedback on what you are clicking. Although the game is somewhat dynamic, the decisions you make seem to carry very little weight. The ultimate outcome is that the social interaction feels far from genuine since the user controls pretty much everything.

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Game of Thrones’ economics.