WASHINGTON, DC – Senator Dan Coats (R-Ind.), chairman of the Joint Economic Committee, today delivered his 52nd Waste of the Week speech and criticized the Department of Education for spending over $1 million to develop a commercial video game called Eco that teaches students how to build a government to protect the planet and environment from bad actors.
In the game, players create a virtual government that must create “green” laws to protect the environment. The players can create or reject laws by a majority vote. However, the Eco world could also be ruled by the group’s operator acting as a “king” and issuing all rules by fiat. Methods like this allow environmental rules from going into place without votes and without support from others. In the Eco game, those who break an environmental rule can be punished through fines, jail or even death.
“This game actually teaches students that those who oppose the environmental rules are their enemies,” said Coats.
According to the game’s website, “the ‘enemies’ you must face are corruption, greed, ignorance and exploitation, each exhibited from your own comrades sharing a vulnerable world with you.”
“For some reason, the Department of Education gave the company who created the Eco game over $1 million in taxpayer money to help develop and test the game in classrooms,” said Coats. “Yet at the same time, this company is also seeking private funding, and in fact has raised over $200,000 through a fundraising website known as Kickstarter. To make matters worse, the developers of this game are then selling this product back to schools and the taxpayers. A classroom account costs $250, and individual access to the game is $40.”
Coats said it is clear that the Eco game is not simply a tool to promote an environmental agenda, but it is also a commercial product that is inappropriately taking advantage of taxpayers.
“It’s time to say ‘game over’ for waste like government funding of the Eco videogame,” said Coats.
To watch Coats’ speech, click here or on the image above.