An oil pipeline advocacy group has demanded that a video game developed by staff at Michigan State University be taken down, arguing it is wrong for taxpayers’ money to be used to promote “eco-terrorism.”

Designed by a school professor who is against pipelines, the video game allows the user to control a “Thunderbird” as it charges up electricity and flies around blowing up pipelines.  “In the new side-scrolling game which will make its debut at the ImagineNative festival this week and available to the public later this year, players can control a thunderbird—a legendary mythical creature in many North American indigenous cultures that is a symbol of power and strength—as it charges up electricity and seeks to destroy oil infrastructure including trucks, pipelines, and more. Players can shoot bolts of lightning at various oil assets with impunity—players do not die in the game, nor are they arrested for their incendiary activities.”

Energy Builders, a pro-pipeline group, is now calling for the game’s removal from the internet.

“It’s bad enough that privately-funded eco-terrorists encourage this kind of behavior, but it’s way over the line when a public university getting our tax dollars joins in the effort” Toby Mack, president of Energy Builders, said in a statement to Secrets.

“We call on Michigan State University to pull the plug immediately on this taxpayer-funded political campaign and reject any so-called educational program designed to encourage eco-terrorism or other bad behavior. We also call on Congress, NASA and the National Science Foundation to end any public subsidies of this computer lab until this overtly political activity has ended,” Mack added.

The game was developed by the Games for Entertainment and Learning (GEL) Lab at Michigan State University. In it, users can fire lightning bolts at pipelines.

For more on this story, click the "read more" button below.

READ MORE