White House Asks Microsoft to Create a Federal Budget Video Game

In a bold move, Fiscal Commission co-chair Erskine Bowles asked Microsoft to take a stab at the largely untapped “boring” genre of video games, and create a game that would allow users to attempt to balance the budget.

According to USA Today, the White House is hoping Microsoft can create a game to show the public the difficult choices involved in managing the nation’s deficit. The current U.S. national debt is $12.8 trillion dollars, and the game would be designed to illustrate the necessary difficulties – which programs to cut and how to trim existing packages, for example – behind lowering the debt. It could potentially be similar to Oregon Trail, minus the fun.

Democratic Senator Bob Kerry was quoted as saying that the game could “go viral”. Microsoft has not confirmed its involvement yet, but CEO Steve Ballmer has been contacted. If the game proceeds, it would be a riveting look at the high octane world of budgeting. Users would not be able to win, so much as lose less than others in an attempt to mitigate the public’s expectations. It would be an education tool designed to educate users on the difficulties the country is facing.

After all, what gamer doesn’t want to face the grim prospect of slashing medicare instead of slashing alien invaders?  No word yet on possible online multiplayer budgeting death matches.

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