American Public Media has updated its popular online game Budget Hero to reflect the ongoing battle over sequestration cuts in Congress.
This fifth version, backed by funding from CPB, also includes updated cost projections for federal spending in 2014 and new policy options to overhaul immigration policy, expand states’ Medicaid programs and reverse the effects of sequester cutbacks on defense and non-defense spending.
The original game came out in 2008. Budget Hero currently gets some 40,000 plays a month, according to Linda Fantin, who heads APM’s Public Insight Network and oversees development of the game.
The game has been played more than 1.7 million times, according to Diane Tucker, director of the Wilson Center’s Serious Games Initiative and APM’s partner. “Budget Hero has made many feel more equipped to participate in, and make decisions about, national policy debates,” Tucker said. “It brings surprises even to those who consider themselves well informed.”