Bowles has reportedly been communicating with Ballmer about creating a video game that allows anyone to attempt to balance the budget. Bob Kerrey, co-chair of 1994's Bipartisan Commission on Entitlement and Tax Reform, spoke of the need to gain the public's understanding: "What you could get is support among the populace for the exceptionally unpopular things you need to do to solve this problem," adding that a budget-balancing game could "go viral ," though it would be hard to imagine anything created by Microsoft and distributed by the U.S. government as "viral."
As bizarre an idea as this seems, Bowles is not the first to try it. in 1989 the National Economic Commission distributed Hard Choices on floppies for $20 a copy (which in itself might have helped). Kerrey's own 1994 commission also released a game with the thrilling title Budget Shadows.