Oklahoma congressman: Tax dollars should not be used for video game research

by: Justin Gray - Cox Washington Updated:

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Quick facts:

  • Oklahoma Congressman Steve Russell (R-OK) says he is against using tax dollars to fund research involving video games.
  • The National Endowment for the Humanities says online interactive projects bring history and literature to life for students, helping them learn.

Imagine a peaceful walk to writer Henry David Thoreau’s famous Walden Pond on a computer screen.

Some say such a game should not be funded by tax dollars, but it is.

A $100,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) is funding the creation of the game so users can, according to the project’s website, “gain insight into the natural world.”

Oklahoma Congressman Steve Russell (R-OK) says tax dollars should not be used to pay for it.

A very different genre of video games is also getting both government attention and money.

$30,000 is going to Georgia State University researchers to study toxic language and hate speech in online gaming.

Georgia State professor Ben Miller says video games are now America’s number one entertainment industry. He says his study is an important look into how to curb hate speech in gaming.

Russell says it should come down to tax dollars, which he says are a priority.

A spokesperson for the NEH says all their grants are reviewed by a panel of experts from around the country. She also says the NEH supports online interactive projects like the “Walden” game, because they bring history and literature to life for students, helping them learn.