House GOP majority leader calls World of Warcraft research grant 'government waste'

A 2012 study into the cognitive effects of video game playing by older adults was targeted by U.S. House majority leader Eric Cantor in a statement today which called for "common sense" budget reform.

"The National Science Foundation spent $1.2 million paying seniors to play World of Warcraft to study the impact it had on their brain," reads the statement from Cantor, calling the "pay to play video games" study an example of government waste.

Cantor seems to be referring to a study by the Gains Through Gaming Lab in the Department of Psychology at the North Carolina State University titled "Putting fun into aging - overcoming usability and motivational issues in video games for older adults." (PDF)

The lab says its research primarily focuses on how games can improve cognitive functioning and "identifying the video games and conditions under which they are played, that provide the greatest benefit to various domains of psychological functioning."

Highlights from the study, which saw adults over the age of 65 play World of Warcraft, indicate that older adults with "initially worse abilities appear to benefit more from cognitive training."

The cost of the study ranks low in terms of dollars compared to spending elsewhere. Cantor's statement also targets "federal government waste" like $2.2 billion in free cell phones, $100 million in EPA grants to foreign countries over the past decade and $1.7 billion in maintaining properties "not in use or underutilized" in 2010.

More from Polygon

Hearthstone: Naxxramas Overview

  • Oddworld: New 'N' Tasty - Overview video

  • Destiny's beta comparison video: PS4 versus Xbox One

  • The Crew closed beta - Overview video

  • Polygon goes to Poland

Latest Discussions

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.
Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_5353_tracker