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.

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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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Mattsworknameour concerns about them were well founded.07/28/2015 - 7:50pm
MattsworknameDepends on who you ask, accountable fto it's audiance, accountablie for lies and half truths, accountible for disengenous statements, everyone had there own reasons for going after them. Although in the case of gawker, recent events seem to indicate that07/28/2015 - 7:50pm
Andrew EisenAccountable for... what, exactly?07/28/2015 - 7:48pm
MattsworknameI think the intent was to force some kind of accountabilty on them. Granted As I said ,i wasn't exactly big on the ideas of attacking advertisers but it's a common and well used tactic. Sadly, theres not many other ways of holding media sites acountable07/28/2015 - 7:47pm
MechaTama31With the goal of...? Getting those media outlets to fire or silence the "scum"? That's shitty.07/28/2015 - 7:44pm
Mattsworknamewarned about the scum there assoicating with. Looking at you GAWKER media07/28/2015 - 7:37pm
MattsworknameI think the only reason it was the first action was alot of people felt it was the only option that might have an actual impact. and to be honest, i don't see how they were exactly wrong. Plus, as recent events showed, soem times adverisers need to be07/28/2015 - 7:37pm
MattsworknameTo be honest, I was always kinda on edge about that, while I did not like that those news outlets had acted in the way theey did, i didn't like that we thought boycotting and advertiser attacks were the only recourse07/28/2015 - 7:36pm
MechaTama31And after AE questioned that same analogy, I described it as extreme hyperbole.07/28/2015 - 7:36pm
E. Zachary KnightMecha, The "bullying and threatening" thing is from an earlier shout by Matt. I asked you tht question because you compared the petition to someone threatening to shoot your child.07/28/2015 - 7:35pm
Andrew EisenBy the way, if anyone can see into alternate timelines, I've got $20 that says Target would have ignored the petition had it been presented at the game's launch instead of over a year later.07/28/2015 - 7:34pm
MechaTama31Write a "Gamers are Alive" article. Make a video highlighting positive things about games. Counter your opponent, don't try to silence them.07/28/2015 - 7:33pm
MechaTama31EZK: Who exactly are you quoting with "bullying and threatening"? But yes, I think attacking someone's livelihood because you disagree with their opinion is underhanded and damaging to discourse.07/28/2015 - 7:30pm
E. Zachary KnightOh no. A successful online petition could embolden people to do... what exactly? Do another online petition?07/28/2015 - 7:30pm
Andrew EisenToo bad the counter petition wasn't as popular. But again, yeah, it sucks. For the reasons I've stated over and over now.07/28/2015 - 7:29pm
MechaTama31otherwise want to.07/28/2015 - 7:27pm
MechaTama31AE: I mean like right and wrong, not like true and false. And even the perception that the petition worked could be damaging. It could embolden these types of people in the future, and make it less likely for a retailer to puch back even if they otherwi07/28/2015 - 7:27pm
Andrew EisenBut yes, it is a damn shame that Target decided to kowtow in this case, best business decision or not.07/28/2015 - 7:27pm
Andrew EisenNo one's free expression was impinged. Anyone is welcome to petition whatever they want. Anyone is free to counter petition (and did in this case). Target was free to make it's own decision on whether to continue to stock GTA V or not.07/28/2015 - 7:26pm
E. Zachary KnightMatt, Mecha, So, if a petition asking a store to not sell a game is "bullying and threatening" is a petition asking Intel to pull ads from Gamasutra "bullying and threatening"?07/28/2015 - 7:25pm
 

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