House GOP majority leader Eric Cantor called out a study by North Carolina State University related to World of Warcraft's ability to "boosts cognitive functioning in some older adults" a waste of tax payer dollars. The study was paid for by a $1.2 million federal grant. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said in a statement released this week that this kind of spending is the cause of the country’s debt. He also listed property maintenance, vacations for federal agencies, and the Internal Revenue Service’s TV studio as other areas of the federal budget that were a waste.
The study he is referring to followed the benefits of senior ages 60 – 77 who spent two weeks playing the popular online game. The results showed that seniors saw improved cognitive skills, including an increase in spatial awareness and focus. The improvements were highly noticeable in those seniors who previously scored low in those areas.
Of course anyone can cherry pick items from the federal budget and find something that they can call "wasteful spending." After all, the budget is full of grants that – at a glance – seem to support frivolous research, or support local endeavors to build things like libraries or stadiums, or that subsidize a certain industry. It's not always fair to point these things out but it makes for great political grand standing and theater.