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Obama administration requests federal deficit game

By David Jenkins

Thu 15 Apr 2010 10:53am GMT / 6:53am EDT / 3:53am PDT

US government asks Microsoft's Steve Ballmer to make "viral" financial game

The Obama administration in the U.S. has apparently requested that Microsoft create a "deficit-reduction video game", according to a report by newspaper USA Today.

In a wider article on the US federal deficit, the article claims that fiscal commission co-chair Erskine Bowles has "been in touch" with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer about creating the game.

Although no other details of the proposed title are given, Democratic senator Bob Kerrey is quoted as suggesting that the game could "go viral".

The U.S. national debt is currently put at $12.8 trillion and the game is intended to help illustrate the difficulty, and necessity, of reducing the figure.

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Stephen Northcott Senior Consulting Engineer

76 0 0.0
Are they not having enough fun playing for real?

Posted:6 years ago


Claire Blackshaw Senior Online Consultant, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe

17 2 0.1
Games are a great people to get people involved, and teach the complexities of systems without boring the audience. Its a really interesting area.

The recent MP for a week (click here) game is a good example. It generated a lot of interest.

Posted:6 years ago


Fran Mulhern , Recruit3D

863 707 0.8
Aren't some of the sim city type games used to help teach town planning courses?

Posted:6 years ago


Salomón Hamud First Party and Commercial Manager, Slang

1 0 0.0
The great challenge would be the game to actually be fun to play... just as the Sims. It also shouldn't have any strong political view or stand right?

Posted:6 years ago


Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.

2,510 3,183 1.3
Well, he and Ben Bernanke would be about the worst players on the planet.

Posted:6 years ago

That's a great idea, although I can see from miles away the Republicans jumping on it and doing all sorts of poo pooing about how bad the administration has done in terms of debt (although at the moment there is no number to back that up, but we're used to Reps lying blatantly).

Posted:6 years ago


Shane Sweeney Academic

494 585 1.2
This is a great idea, but why ask Microsoft? Or even worse Steve Ballmer himself who still gets confused when talking about even the basics of there games division.

Posted:6 years ago


Robert Walter 3D artist

8 0 0.0
I'm guessing they would have asked CCP, but couldn't get over the name.

Posted:6 years ago


Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.

2,510 3,183 1.3
Shann, I'm not a Republican but here is plenty of real numbers to back up that claim.

Posted:6 years ago


Robert Douglas Studying B.A in Game Art and Design, Art Institute of Pittsburgh

18 4 0.2
Without turning this into a political forum, it is too bad most don't realize the difficulty of inheriting the large debt that 8 years of war from Bush Jr. can leave behind. Just look @ the numbers from Bush Sr. to Clinton to Bush Jr. ( not the best source I know, but it will do. Remember that whenever we are at war, the deficit will increase, just look at how we (the US) did after the WWII and the great depression: While Obama is no saint as far as his spending, we wouldn't be here if we didn't have the previous President's war spending to inherit (regardless of how one feels about the war).

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Robert Douglas on 16th April 2010 6:57pm

Posted:6 years ago


Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.

2,510 3,183 1.3
Of course both are guilty of it. Though Obama's administration has equaled the 8 years of debt created by Bush in less than 1 year.

While I understand the nuances of being inaugurated into debt and war, it is no excuse for perpetuating it and increasing it exponentially.

However, the issue isn't specific to 1 administration or even 1 party over the other but the flawed ideology of Keynesian economics. I find it ironic that a follower of Keynesian economics wants a game on federal deficits developed.

Posted:6 years ago

So, asking Microsoft is like asking Mattel to make Lego. They are both in the toys industry, but it would probably not be quite the same experience you get.

It would be great to have such a budget game, but maybe Microsoft is not the most ideal. There is a well-established number of companies doing serious games that knows how to do these things.

If the project kick offs it might be worth looking at France where they did a similar budget game a few years back with great success.

Feel free to check out my company that have been toying a bit in around in the field.

Posted:6 years ago


Tony Johns

520 12 0.0
Maybe Microsoft was the only company that the President knew about that still existed, knowing that Atari is only a publisher company nowdays and the Atari that Obama once knew no longer exists anymore.

Also, maybe Obama thinks that Microsoft has got allot more money than his own government.... -_-....

Anyway, I think that Sim City is the best type of game that best represents the difficulties of running a city, or maybe make a Sim Country in order to demonstrate how difficult it is to run an entire country where you can be voted out of power if you are bad at being a politician.

Posted:6 years ago


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