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France Launches Budget Balancing Serious Game

A <a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/5060852.stm">new report</a> by the BBC has indicated that the French government has turned to taxpayers for possible in...

Jason Dobson

June 14, 2006

1 Min Read

A new report by the BBC has indicated that the French government has turned to taxpayers for possible insight on how to balance the country's finances by releasing a new serious game entitled Cyber-Budget that places users in charge of balancing the national budget of nearly 300 billion euros (approximately $378 billion). The game, which is aimed at increasing awareness of the difficulties currently faced by budget makers, presents players with an exceedingly realistic scenario within which they must not only make decisions about spending revenue and cutting taxes, but must also present a draft budget to parliament. According to French budget minister Jean-Francois Cope, all figures are real and taken from public accounts. "The idea is that when we cut taxes, we can't do it without creating deficits," noted French budget minister Jean-Francois Cope in the report. “It allows each person to get familiar with how [the budget] functions. He added: "In this game each French person can pretend they are the budget minister and make decisions to understand how much each [ministry's] budget costs, education spending, military spending, how it's all organized and see what kind of decision we can take when we want to cut taxes." According to a seperate report on Bloomberg, the top 50 players will win a guided tour of Bercy on the banks of the Seine, where the finance ministry is headquartered. One winner will spend an entire day with Cope. The game, which is browser-based and uses Flash, is currently available to anyone, though it does require that users understand French.

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