Peter G. Peterson Foundation
NAPA / Parsons
Real-Life Sport

Developed in partnership with the National Academy of Public Administration and PETLab for the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, Budgetball is a game designed to engage college-age players on the issues of financial decision-making, debt-management, and fiscal responsibility.

Budgetball is a real-world game, an active sport of quick passes, tough defense, and bold comebacks. The game starts with this accessible, familiar structure and adds a layer of financial resource management on top. Players use Budgetbucks to purchase Powerups that give them an advantage in the game like extra players, bonus points, and supermoves. They can get more Budgetbucks by taking on Sacrifices that restrict their actions and limit their abilities. Budgetball lets teams go into debt to acquire Powerups now and pay for them later in the game or in the tournament. As a result, the game does more than talk about debt as a topic, it lets the players engage directly with debt and understand its powers and its risks first hand.

Budgetball is a new kind of serious game that uses the power of games to model complex dynamic systems, allowing players to explore a stylized version of a real-world issue. The game is designed to encourage strategic thinking, careful planning, practical trade-offs and collaborative problem-solving – exactly the skill set we will need to face the challenges of real-world fiscal challenges.