The Big Easy Budget Game is a budget simulator planning tool for the citizens of New Orleans that enables them to delegate 602 millions dollars over a number of government departments. The game comes with a few rules and restrictions, such as minimum and maximum funding that can be delegated to each department in order to emulate a realistic city. There are also quick polls for some of the departments that ask for more specific insight when players are delegating funds. On average, each game takes about 10 minutes in order to balance the budget. At the end of each game, there is an optional questionnaire asking participants about their involvement with city government, whether or not they feel adequately represented by government, and demographic information for statistics. Both the Big Easy Budget Game and the questionnaire are available in English and Spanish.
All the yearly data from the budget games and the optional questionnaire submitted by citizens was analyzed and detailed in two public reports (2016 and 2017) demonstrating how New Orleanians want to spend their tax dollars versus how the government has been spending them.
In addition to The Big Easy Budget Game is its companion website, that visualizes New Orleans’ government spending between 2007 and 2015.