Studying Computer Games Is No Waste

Jim White | Feb 01, 2011 | Comments 1

“Most people have to work for a living; others get to play video games.” That is what United States Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) said about research at UC Irvine’s Center for Computer Games and Virtual Worlds in the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Science.

The Center for Computer Games and Virtual Worlds is truly interdisciplinary, as befits a research area having broad social impact, with faculty not just from the fields of informatics and computer science but also humanities, law, education, art and anthropology. So it would be fair to say they do a whole lot more than just play video games there.

But last December, Coburn published “Wastebook 2010: A Guide to Some of the Most Wasteful Government Spending of 2010” through his taxpayer-funded senatorial office.  In it, he ranked as No. 6 (out of 100 government-funded projects) work by UCI Professor Bonnie Nardi, Senior Research Scientist Walt Scacchi and 21 other researchers, for which they received a three-year, $3 million grant from the National Science Foundation in 2008.

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