What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this simulation game provides factual, nonpartisan information on fiscal issues and encourages players to attempt to balance the federal government's budget. Most kids will probably find BUDGET HERO challenging, but there's no inappropriate content.
What kids can learn
- the economy
Thinking & Reasoning
- analyzing evidence
- thinking critically
Responsibility & Ethics
- fiscal responsibility
- making wise decisions
Engagement, Approach, Support
Players get a personalized experience because the game lets them choose to expand or cut funding and taxes that relate to issues they care about. They’ll see how their decisions immediately affect the budget.
Teens visually see the impact reducing or expanding policies will have on the federal budget for a decade. They can read about each program’s background and learn about public policy, government, and decision-making.
Kids can also access a list of more than 30 sources for additional budget, policy, and government information. Registered users can also see how their potential budget compares to other users' plans.
What's it about?
Produced by the nonprofit organization American Public Media, in partnership with the Woodrow Wilson Center's Serious Games Initiative, Budget Hero uses data from the Congressional Budget Office to illustrate how the federal budget is spent. Players can decide where to increase or decrease spending based on their own values and priorities and can see how their decisions affect America's fiscal future. Each expenditure that's up for debate is explained on a policy card that lists the pros and cons of increasing or decreasing funding. Players can also raise or cut taxes in an attempt to balance the budget.
Is it any good?
Budget Hero succeeds as both an educational tool that offers factual details about how taxes are spent, and as a simulation of the challenging, frustrating experience of balancing a budget. Presenting the pros and cons of each issue illuminates perspectives that may be new to players and provides a refreshing alternative to partisan politics.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the media's coverage of politics. How do you know if a source is trustworthy?
Budget Hero instructs players to choose "badges" that reflect their values and priorities when it comes to spending. Which badges did you choose, and why?