EU Dumps €275k into Pedestrian Looking "Government RPG"

August 30, 2010 -

The European Service Network (ESN), operating under a budget of 275,000 Euros (approximately $349,000 U.S.) from the European Parliament's Directorate-General for Communication, is developing an online role-playing game—and social networking forum—that it hopes will capture “the essence of European Parliament.”

Named Citzalia, the online experience was compared to Second Life and will have users create an avatar before being able to,  “navigate around a virtual recreation of the actual Parliament, to create content, and to involve themselves in virtual law-making.”

Additionally, it was promised that “You can be a Member of the European Parliament (MEP), a journalist, a student or any role you want to create.”

The embedded video, which offers a little taste of Citzalia, has drawn the ire of a few commenters (nothing new for YouTube) wondering why a game with such a lofty budget would feature “cheap” graphics of “appalling” quality. Comments included “This is a joke, right?,” “Doom 2 engine looks better than this,” “For this I pay taxes?,” and “This game is not real. There are no lobbyists...”

Beta testing is expected to begin in late September.


Via the Wall Street Journal

Comments

Re: EU Dumps €275k into Pedestrian Looking "Government ...

I registered for the Beta out of sheer morbid curiosity, but I don't expect this to be a stunning display of game development. Seems that the target audience is the type that finds C-SPAN to be quality entertainment, (of which I'm borderline guilty.)

Then again, I leave myself open to surprise. As an American with no experience with the European Parliament, I'm not sure what to expect. If it's closer to what I've seen from the UK's PM Questions sessions, (what Robin Williams called "Congress with a two-drink minimum,") then this could be a little fun.

A side note. The article promises that you can become a MEP, however when I tried to do so the form threw an error stating that I would have to use my "official email address" to sign up as a MEP or EP Official. The only option available to me was that of EU Citizen.

We'll see how this plays out once it goes live.

 

Re: EU Dumps €275k into Pedestrian Looking "Government ...

I think you were generous with the "pedestrian" description. Bland, bland, bland. There are plenty of shoestring budget games with imaginative visual design.

The game's graphics are as bureaucratized as government is. So unwilling to offend, they offend by their drabness.

On another note, will backroom dealings be allowed? Can I play a lobbyist and take politicians to a strip club or offer them post-political jobs/speaking arrangements/book deals?

Re: EU Dumps €275k into Pedestrian Looking "Government ...

While I wouldn't consider $349,000 a "lofty" budget, I would expect something a bit better looking than your average Newgrounds contributer could throw together in a couple days with no budget.  Long as the game has depth, I think they'll be fine with those visuals if they just fix the way the avatar's move around the maps.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: EU Dumps €275k into Pedestrian Looking "Government ...

What do you expect for government work?

---

With the first link, the chain is forged.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: EU Dumps €275k into Pedestrian Looking "Government ...

I expect better.  But I'm not surprised when I don't get it.

 

Andrew Eisen

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