As Super Committee Deadline Nears, Budget Game Gives Public Chance to be ''Heroes''

Nov 15, 2011, 14:52 ET from Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

New Feature Allows Super Committee Goals to be Played

WASHINGTON, Nov. 15, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With only eight days until the budget super committee's Thanksgiving deadline, and little sign of progress toward its US$1.2 trillion in budget savings, ordinary Americans have been trying to balance the budget - playing a new game, Budget Hero, over 1,000,000 times.

The interactive "serious game" challenges Americans from every part of the political spectrum to balance the federal budget.  In so doing it provides a tool for bringing ordinary citizens into the debate over the federal budget, highlighting their budget priorities to policymakers, and giving them a look at the priorities of others and the genuine difficulty of balancing the budget without making real sacrifices.

This week, the students of Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles and a group of high school students from Pasadena will race to balance the budget in a day. Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal will moderate a discussion with the high school students at the Pasadena event, being held at Southern California Public Radio's KPCC studios. "Budget Hero is filled with tough choices that engage players in the daunting task facing the Super Committee," Ryssdal said. "The cuts needed to save over a trillion dollars require serious compromise. They're about to learn how hard it is to reconcile political philosophy with the choices that are going to be necessary to win this game."

An engaging and fun civics lesson for the internet age, Budget Hero is already being incorporated into curriculum in schools across the nation, including the University of Louisville and the U.S. Naval Academy. Click here to watch local coverage of the Budget Hero demo at the University of Louisville.

One teacher from New York City called Budget Hero "the BEST tool that I could give [my students] to help them to understand economic and political issues."

The game, developed by American Public Media's Public Insight Network and The Wilson Center, makes it easy for people to compare their budget results to others and share them on Twitter and Facebook, as thousands of people have done.

The latest version of Budget Hero, which includes policy proposals by the Gang of 6 and the Bowles-Simpson deficit reduction committee, can be accessed at:,, or

Notes to Editors

The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars is the national, living memorial honoring President Woodrow Wilson.  In providing an essential link between the worlds of ideas and public policy, the Center addresses current and emerging challenges confronting the United States and the world.  The Center promotes policy-relevant research and dialogue to increase understanding and enhance the capabilities and knowledge of leaders, citizens, and institutions worldwide.  Created by an Act of Congress in 1968, the Center is a non-partisan institution headquartered in Washington, D.C. and supported by both public and private funds.

About American Public Media and the Public Insight Network

American Public Media is one of the largest producers of public radio programming in the world, with a portfolio reaching 16 million listeners via nearly 800 radio stations nationwide each week. Programs include A Prairie Home Companion, Marketplace, Performance Today, The Splendid Table, On Being, American RadioWorks and many others. American Public Media's 125,000-plus member Public Insight Network promotes deep connections between journalists across the country and the communities they serve. American Public Media is the parent organization for Minnesota Public Radio, Southern California Public Radio and Classical South Florida. A complete list of stations, programs and additional services can be found at

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Contact: Drew Sample
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SOURCE Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars