You Know, Sim-IRS Really Doesn't Sound Like Much Fun
from the rated-p-for-political-silliness dept
The French government has jumped on the turn-work-into-video-games train and said it will release an online game that lets players try to balance the country’s budget. It sounds like the game’s intended to communicate a message from politicians to the public that coming up with a balanced budget isn’t easy, since the minister behind the game says public demands for fiscal cutbacks are followed by complaints about lost services. The game even involves users trying to get their budgets approved by a virtual parliament, so it’s likely been designed to encourage a specific outcome and get users to have to think in a certain way to win — making it more propaganda than video game. While it’s easy to dismiss the idea and wonder who would have an interest in it, the success of other simulation games, from the venerable Flight Simulator to sports sims to the SimCity line, there’s probably somebody out there who’s been waiting to play budget-balancer. The obvious question to ask, though, is just how much money did the government spend — or waste, depending on your point of view — to make this game, and is that included in the simulated budget?