The United States has a $12.8 trillion federal budget deficit, and now they’re turning to an unlikely source for help – gamers. Erskine Bowles, who is the co-chairman of the fiscal commission, has approached Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer (pictured above) about creating a computer game where players would win by successfully balancing the budget, according to USA Today.
In 1994, Senator Bob Kerrey and Senator Job Danforth led a 32-person panel to look at how to change programs like Medicare and Social Security in a way that would cut costs without angering the general public. At the end of their debates, no more than six people agreed on any one solution, and the panel dissolved without actually getting anything done. The computer game would allow uses to become a member of a similar simulated panel, with updated conditions for 2010.
It is unclear just what the goals of the game would be. Kerrey seems to think that the game could “go viral,” but would it be used as an educational tool only? Many reporters and readers are suggesting that by leaving a solution up to gamers in a simulation, the government could get some very interesting ideas to implement in real life.
Img credit: Maritn Olsson