Cyberbudget smallThe French finance ministry has not been having a fun time recently – exceeding the 3% of GDP deficit limit imposed by the stability and growth pact for the Eurozone. So what’s the solution? Well, in part it seems, it comes in the form of Cyber-Budget, a web-based game that asks players how they would wish to balance the budget. The BBC’s article about it is here.

You are asked to participate in a whole series of tests and games, and the whole thing takes about 30 minutes to play. You drive around in car that looks like a Peugeot saloon, driving past the épicerie and down to the banlieue where youths are burning cars (yes, seriously!). I was waiting for the virtual José Bové to lead les agriculteurs onto the streets to protest at my budget cuts but I managed to avoid that fate…

The whole thing is quite well done, and the tension does mount in the final exercise where you have to make split-second decisions on where your spending goes. In the three budget years you play I managed to keep the deficit below 3% of GDP, and to boost growth to 2.67% per annum – not bad I reckon. Anyway, if you have a good grasp of French, it’s worth having a go at this game.

I just wonder what other equivalents you could think up… Something where you are Tony Blair reforming public services and the only choice and answer is reform? Or an additional game for France where you have to persuade the French to vote in favour of the European Constitution? Anyway, click ‘Read More’ to see a couple of screen-shots of the game.

Cyberbudget Screens

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