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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Mattsworknamegamergate or any part of that movment. My biggest issues have always been more about my views on the idustry on a personal level rather then any affilication with GG.06/30/2015 - 9:50am
MattsworknameI only really every had any interest in the GG stuff when they were going in about the media and stuff and the whole "Gamers are Dead" junk. As a general rule, whatever issues I had with various groups was more my own issues, not anything specific with06/30/2015 - 9:49am
Andrew EisenI'm still trying to figure out where anyone is getting the idea violent content or lousy representation of women and minorities in video games shouldn't exist or be promoted.06/30/2015 - 9:25am
james_fudgeWell, members of GP first, members of GG second, I always say.06/30/2015 - 9:06am
black mantaConsidering it's only you and Mattsworkname that have been carrying the banner for it here, that pretty much testifies to how little influence they have. Most everyone else here couldn't care less.06/30/2015 - 8:54am
black mantaAgain GG is more like Occupy Wall Street than the Tea Party movement. They had their moment, but they fizzled out. And now exist more as a nebulous thing spouting ideas. They haven't achieved anything meaningful.06/30/2015 - 8:52am
black mantaAs sincere as your beliefs may be, the movement is still rife with bigots and misogynists.06/30/2015 - 8:51am
black mantaI'm sure you're heart's in the right place, Goth. But it doesn't excuse the behavior of GG's members towards the people they don't like.06/30/2015 - 8:50am
MattsworknameWow goth, write a novel why dont cha. Seriously I know you have a passion for this stuff, but wow, thats kinda overkill.06/30/2015 - 8:46am
james_fudgeI hereby dub this space the Mainifesto Box (tm)06/30/2015 - 8:34am
Infophile13 shouts in total by Goth in a row. I think I'm to blame here. If I'd read the Breitbart link when he'd posted it, maybe he wouldn't have felt the need to say everything here.06/30/2015 - 8:27am
E. Zachary KnightI go away for one night and Goth writes his Gamergate manifesto in the shoutbox.06/30/2015 - 8:15am
james_fudgeI blame Andrew for this.06/30/2015 - 8:10am
Goth_SkunkAnd at long last, I think I'm finally done.06/30/2015 - 3:08am
Goth_SkunkAnd if those progressive games fail to make any headway in the market, don't blame gamer culture for not being cultured enough to appreciate the product. Own up to the fact that the game either sucks, is not interesting, or both.06/30/2015 - 3:06am
Goth_Skunknor suggest that the games industry and culture is rife with toxicity because of it and needs to change for the good of the medium. There is room in the market for progressive games to co-exist with games like Hatred, not replace them outright.06/30/2015 - 3:04am
Goth_SkunkAnd if the overly violent content of most AAA games or the perceived mistreatment of women in such games bothers one, by all means criticize it, but do not under any circumstances suggest that it such content shouldn't exist or be promoted,06/30/2015 - 3:02am
Goth_SkunkGames, for the most part, let you do this! You can be the man or woman you're not. You can escape reality and immerse yourself in the experience. And that's wonderful! I play as female characters all the time in games I play, when the option is available.06/30/2015 - 2:59am
Goth_SkunkA choice that nature denied transgender people at birth! People don't undergo gender reassignment because they want to be transgender; they undergo gender reassignment because they want to be the gender they identify with!06/30/2015 - 2:52am
Goth_SkunkBut I think it gets silly when people start asking for the ability to play as a transgender protagonist. I mean, why would one do that? One usually has the option to create a character that's either a man or a woman, gay or straight. You have the choice!06/30/2015 - 2:50am
 

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