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ASU Professor Not Happy with State Senator’s Video Gaming Comments

Arizona Senator makes comments about video gaming development and how it should not be government funded, which leads to major disapproval by ASU professor.

A professor at Arizona State University is not pleased with the recent comments by a state Senator in regards to video gaming being government funded. As the Regent Professor of the Teacher’s College of Education, James Gee stated that whether or not the senator likes the games as a platform for learning, to condemn the programs where hundreds of gaming designers are emerging is to lock out the state of an emerging industry.

Video Games are the Future

Video games are being seen as the wave of the future as designers can work on new techniques to creating video games at the top companies of the world including Microsoft and Electronic Arts. Video gaming development can lead to other areas of technology including applications for mobile devices such as Smartphones and tablets. Professor Gee is currently training doctoral students at ASU on the steps to improving video gaming technology.

Arizona State Senator Jeff Flake does not seem to agree with the programs, of which Gee is involved. In his annual ‘Wastebook’, Flake targeted two federal spending projects that are focused on gaming research and design. The senator stated that over $5 billion in public expenditures, which he feels are ‘questionable’ in the areas such as scientific research, the arts and the military, should not be happening.

When it comes to video gaming, Flake was very critical of the funding provided to the Massachusetts Digital Games Institute which is located at Becker College. The program has been provided with almost $2.5 million since 2011 by the United States Department of Commerce. The investment by the federal government is considered to be a way of supporting technological commercialization and entrepreneurship in the industry that continues to rapidly expand.

Critical of the Programs

Flake continued to be critical of the programs involving video gaming stating that such game creation is not relevant. Now to an observer, such games may not seem relevant but silly. Flake stated while coming up with new concepts is literally fun and games, doing so should not be on the taxpayer’s dime.

According to Gee, the technology development is necessary to be able to make breakthroughs in industries such as education and health care. Just because a game seems to be trivial in nature, the ideas and technology that are included could be a payoff for something else entirely. Professor Gee is hoping that more lawmakers will be able to start seeing that gaming technology is essential to organizations as books were considered in the past. The industry of video gaming continues to grow each year at a rate of 3 to 5 percent.

Professor Gee says that video gaming is a new platform for learning, thinking as well as collaborating. Such programs can be used in a variety of ways on college campuses to help in a number of subjects. Others are also unhinged by Flake’s critical comments including the Higher Education Video Games Alliance. Several tweets were sent to Flake discussing the industry and how it can helped in health care with training RNs as well as within the military.

Earlier this week, Flake sent out a statement that said Congress needs to find out how to curb spending since the national debt is reaching $30 trillion. Flake does not feel the government needs to be borrowing money from China to support the gaming industry.