Online Game Challenges Players to Balance Philadelphia's Budget

March 24, 2009 -

Like chief executives in other big cities, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter has been forced to make some tough financial choices of late.

Perhaps His Honor should spend some time playing Philadelphia Budget Challenge, a new online game offered by the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia.

Alan Tu of Philly's public radio station WHYY has a review of the game:

This budget game asks 15 questions, giving you a choice to raise taxes or cut services in each case. My secret for solving the city’s budget crisis over the lunch hour is as follows.

The first thing to do is raise everybody’s taxes. That makes the game more fun. Who wants to be the mayor remembered for closing libraries?... The rest was a breeze. I ordered a 10 percent across-the-board cut to to all departments that were considered “administrative,” sold off 400 city cars, and then refinanced a loan the city has for paying into the pension fund...

It’s kind of fun, because it’s feels a little like playing Sim City. No big budgets to read. Never have to hear the citizens complain (although in the game they move away), and if you don’t like the results, you can play it over... the game is simplistic, but it is a wonderful way to generate debate in your office...


Comments

Re: Online Game Challenges Players to Balance ...

I dont see this happening any time soon I work for a Philadelphia flooring company and merchants are having a tough time with the way the local economy is.

Re: Online Game Challenges Players to Balance Philadelphia's

I always thought that the general population should be given an opportunity to balance their local, State, and Federal budgets, in game form.  With the current state of technology it wouldn't be hard.

The way it would work is, you'd have a grid, like a big puzzle.  The grid would represent the size of a balanced budget.  Then, you'd have pieces that represent all the costs of running the government, and additional programs.  Every piece would take up a certain ammount of the grid, based on how much they cost.  You place as many pieces as you can into the grid, until it is full.  Any extra pieces would be cut from the budget.  Pieces representing government running costs would be required, while programs are optional.  You can also shrink some of the costs by suggesting layoffs, like reducing the cost of the Fire Deptartment by axing 19 firemen.  Or reducing the budget for renovation of government offices (Two million for a single office!?!).

Then everyone submits their budget, and a computer determines which choices were the most common among the participants.  Then it would generate a budget that the majority agrees upon.

That way, Senior Analists would know they didn't get a whole new office decor this year because the people don't want them to.  And 19 firemen would have the satisfaction of knowing the people they save didn't think they were worth it.

Re: Online Game Challenges Players to Balance ...

To make this game more realistic, you should recieve gifts from lobbiests and death threats from angry citizens.

--------------------------------------------------------

Believe in something! Even if it's wrong, believe in it! -Glenn Beck

-------------------------------------------------------- Believe in something! Even if it's wrong, believe in it! GET OFF MY PHONE! -Glenn Beck

Re: Online Game Challenges Players to Balance Philadelphia's

Needs more entitlement programs to shut down.

 

I could have ballenced it perfectly if I had the option of shuting down Office of Supportive Housing entirely. I see no reason the residents should have their money stolen by the goverment to fund it.

Re: Online Game Challenges Players to Balance Philadelphia's

I really hope you become homeless one day.

--------------------------------------------------------

Believe in something! Even if it's wrong, believe in it! -Glenn Beck

-------------------------------------------------------- Believe in something! Even if it's wrong, believe in it! GET OFF MY PHONE! -Glenn Beck

Re: Online Game Challenges Players to Balance Philadelphia's

Hey, I say get rid of all welfare. Then, when you have a large enough population of desperate people, we'll just kill you and take your money. It's win-win. I'll put you first on my list for a visit if my unemployment runs out before I get a new job.

Re: Online Game Challenges Players to Balance Philadelphia's

If they can't put forward the effort to get a job, they can't use that effort to commit murder.

Re: Online Game Challenges Players to Balance Philadelphia's

Are you actually serious, or are you just trolling now?

--------------------------------------------------------

Believe in something! Even if it's wrong, believe in it! -Glenn Beck

-------------------------------------------------------- Believe in something! Even if it's wrong, believe in it! GET OFF MY PHONE! -Glenn Beck

Re: Online Game Challenges Players to Balance Philadelphia's

That depends how serious the death threat was...

Re: Online Game Challenges Players to Balance Philadelphia's

So if it's dangerous, you won't stand by your statements. Good to know.

Re: Online Game Challenges Players to Balance Philadelphia's

No I meant the effort comment would be sarcastic if that was sarcastic ect.

 
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ConsterSleaker: if you think there's only been "a handful of" incidents, you have your head stuck *somewhere* - I'm assuming it's sand.09/20/2014 - 5:38am
prh99Most of it's agitprop clickbait anyway.09/20/2014 - 5:27am
prh99A good reason to stop reading reguardless of view pointhttp://www.theguardian.com/media/2013/apr/12/news-is-bad-rolf-dobelli.09/20/2014 - 5:22am
Andrew EisenWell this is unique! A musical critique of the Factual Feminist's "Are Video Games Sexist?" video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-K4s7cV4Us409/20/2014 - 2:41am
Andrew EisenSome locked threads. Some let them be. So, no, I'm not seeing a problem here. No corruption. No collusion. No ethical problem with privately discussing ethics.09/20/2014 - 12:48am
Andrew EisenAnd still, in the end, Tito made up his own mind on how to handle his site. All 150 or so members went off to handle their own sites in their own ways. Some talked about it. Some didn't. Some changed disclosure policies. Some didn't.09/20/2014 - 12:40am
Andrew EisenThere were two comments other than Kochera and Tito's. One pointed out the Escapist Code of Conduct, another comment was in support of Tito.09/20/2014 - 12:40am
Andrew EisenKochera privately expressed his disagreement on how Tito decided to do something. No, I don't consider that crossing a line nor do I consider the exchange an example of the group pressuring him.09/20/2014 - 12:36am
Kronotechnical reasons. Anyways, I need to get to sleep as well.09/20/2014 - 12:29am
KronoAnd he wasn't the only one pushing Tito to censor the thread. If Tito had bowed to peer pressure, we likely wouldn't have gotten this http://goo.gl/vKiYtR which grew out of that thread. Said thread also lasted until a new one needed to be made for09/20/2014 - 12:28am
Krono@Andrew So it's an example of Kuchera crossing the line from reporter to advocate. And an example of the group pressuring for censorship.09/20/2014 - 12:21am
E. Zachary KnightAnyway, I am off to bed. I will probably wake up to all of this being knocked off the shout box.09/20/2014 - 12:20am
E. Zachary KnightKrono, that is the type of reading too much into things that bugs me. Ben did no such thing. Greg had the last word in that part of the exchange. The rest was about how to approach the story and Quinn.09/20/2014 - 12:19am
Andrew EisenSo?09/20/2014 - 12:13am
KronoExcept that the forum thread wasn't harassment, and Kuchera continued to push for the thread's removal after Tito made it clear he didn't consider it harassment.09/20/2014 - 12:12am
Andrew EisenPersonally, I see nothing wrong with someone offering their opinion or the other person making up their own mind on how to run their site.09/20/2014 - 12:06am
E. Zachary KnightKrono, I read nothing of the sort in that email chain. I read Ben giving advice on what to do when a forum thread is used to harass someone and spread falshoods about them and others.09/20/2014 - 12:05am
KronoThat's exactly what Ben Kuchera was doing to Greg Tito.09/19/2014 - 11:58pm
Krono@EZK So you see nothing wrong with one journalist pressuring a journalist from a different organization to not only not run a story, but to censor a civil discussion already taking place?09/19/2014 - 11:56pm
E. Zachary KnightI write for a number of blogs and talk to people who write similar blogs all the time for tips and advice. I see nothing wrong with that.09/19/2014 - 11:50pm
 

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