Walker, Wisconsin Ranger
Designers: Antonio Cartegena, Chelsey Metcalf, Anthony Paese, Emily Schneider, Schuming Zhang
Controversy has followed Wisconsin governor Scott Walker since his 2011 Budget Repair Bill, legislation attempting to fix the tremendous state deficit. The Bill had severe consequences for the collective bargaining rights of state workers. During his tenure, he has cut millions from government spending, including education, healthcare, government jobs, local government aid, Planned Parenthood and more. In the upcoming budget cycle, Wisconsin faces a deficit of over three billion dollars.
Walker, Wisconsin Ranger puts the player in the dubious position of Scott Walker. As the governor, players must traverse a Wisconsin landscape, slashing the aforementioned venues of government spending to balance the monthly state budget. However, as the game aims to show, cutting costs has its consequences. Not only must the player balance the monthly budget, he must also keep the constituent approval rating at or above 25%. The game reflects budget cuts in three aspects: First, it tracks the amount of money left needed to balance the budget. Second, Walker's approval rating fluctuates in proportion to his cuts. Third, the cuts affect the population of badgers protesting Walker in the final scene of the game. At the end of the game, if the player has both balanced the budget and kept a good approval rating, he wins. However, achieving both is incredibly difficult, meant to illustrate Walker's dire plight of both balancing the deficit whilst appeasing his myriad constituents.