Science and Technology Innovation Program
Jane Harman writes about the potential of serious games – like the Wilson Center’s own Budget Hero – to engage citizens in public policy and even fix our broken Congress in Bloomberg's "My Bright Idea" column.
Games are a great way to explore policy options because they allow the player to see both intended and unintended consequences of decisions, said Diane Tucker who directs the Center’s Serious Games Initiative. Tucker described important updates coming this fall with the Election Edition of the serious game Budget Hero.
“Budget Hero,” the computer game, designed to help people of all ages understand the Federal budget and the underlying issues that shape it, is now offered on the free resource GameUp™, BrainPOP’s collection of cross-curricular game titles from leading publishers.
The Fordham Center on Law and Information Policy at Fordham Law School and the Commons Lab of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars are working together on a project focused on privacy and information systems that are being developed to help locate missing persons during natural disasters.
With the threat of another partisan standoff over the federal budget looming, Senator Mark Udall (D-Colorado) hosted a group of constituents to play a round of Budget Hero. The “serious game” is a fantastically effective tool that should be further deployed to the public, says Udall.
Thanks to new technology, people can immediately help seismologists assess the scope and impact of earthquakes by providing valuable firsthand data. The recent east coast quake, centered in Virginia, provided the back drop for our discussion with Colorado-based seismologist, David Wald.
Facebook, Twitter, and other social media tools are making the response to national and man-made disasters faster and more efficient. We spoke with one of the world's leaders in the field, Gisli Olafsson, to learn about the latest developments.
Volunteer and technical communities organize to create and build tools that collect, search and organize data coming from crisis areas. These crowdsourcing groups have effectively responded to a variety of disasters, including the Haitian and Chilean earthquakes, the Japanese tsunami and the gulf oil spill.
Lawmakers from both parties have said the country needs a national conversation about the national debt. At an event on Capitol Hill on July 13, they embraced the popular game Budget Hero as a way to jump start that discussion.
Far from multimillion dollar labs at universities, an enthusiastic movement of amateur scientists is changing the field of biology.