WASHINGTON – “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.

“Budget Hero” invites players to explore the impact of different cuts and expenditures as they create and test their own budget policies. Students choose “badges” that represent their values and goals – economic stimulus, national security, the environment, school funding, energy. As the simulation progresses, participants “play” policy cards, deciding whether to fund or cut spending on initiatives like clean energy research, federal housing assistance, education for disadvantaged children, infrastructure maintenance, and health care for senior citizens. The budgets “go bust” when money runs out for anything but Social Security, health care, and interest payments; they are complete when they reflect a player’s chosen values and/or yield a desirable result.

As it does for all titles showcased on GameUp, BrainPOP pairs “Budget Hero” with a selection of related content that facilitates the game’s effective classroom use.

“Few subject areas are more relevant to 21st century learning than Financial Literacy – which is also an area that’s difficult enough for adults to fully grasp, much less kids. Adding ‘Budget Hero’ to our GameUp offerings is a tremendous step towards clarifying complex issues that affect the world on a daily basis,” said Dr. Avraham Kadar, BrainPOP’s Founder and CEO.  “We are proud to have partnered with The Wilson Center and American Public Media’s Public Insight Network on this invaluable initiative.”

“By putting young players in the driver’s seat, ‘Budget Hero’ engages players and makes difficult policy arguments clearer,” said Jane Harman, Director, President and CEO of the Wilson Center. “GameUp, with its carefully vetted selection of educational titles and supporting materials, is an excellent showcase for ‘Budget Hero.’ Kids everywhere will now have access to the game and its key lessons, while their teachers will benefit from resources to help them integrate it into their curriculum easily and smoothly.”

“‘Budget Hero’ has proven a great way for hundreds of thousands of Americans to begin to understand the complexity of the questions facing our nation when it comes to the budget,” said Mike Reszler Vice President Digital Media, American Public Media. “By partnering with BrainPOP and the Wilson Center, we are helping to engage teachers and students in the same exercise of understanding the myriad of decisions that go into shaping the budget.”