Senator David Osmek [R-Mound] is calling for drastic changes to Minnesota’s Legacy Fund process following the revelation that a professor in Michigan received a Minnesota taxpayer funded grant to design a video game that promotes eco-terrorism through bombings of oil pipelines. Elizabeth LaPensée, the grant recipient and game creator, received a $3,290 grant from Minnesota Legacy dollars to fund the development of Thunderbird Strike, a video game that features a mythical bird that aims to destroy pipelines, refineries, and trucks.
“When the Legacy Amendment to our constitution was approved, no voter could have imagined that our taxpayer dollars would be used to fund video games that blow up pipelines,” said Senator Osmek. “Minnesota taxpayers expect their money to be invested in Minnesota, not in funding an eco-terrorist version of Angry Birds.”
The grant was to awarded to LaPensée for a year period, ending this last July. The grant’s project details describe the player of the game as a “thunderbird stopping the pipelines.” The grant dollars came from the voter approved Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment to the state constitution. The clean water fund was intended “to protect, enhance and restore Minnesota’s lakes, rivers, streams and groundwater.”
“Legacy Amendment grants have turned into just another wasteful government boondoggle,” added Senator Osmek. “This grant should never have been awarded in the first place. The Legacy Fund process needs a drastic overhaul so that the focus is funding our environment, not out-of-state video game developers.”
Promotional video for the MN taxpayer funded “Thunderbird Strike” video game