Thursday, March 07, 2019
This article is great PR for the computer game, SimCity. The tale that it influenced a generation of city planners is a testimony to its power. It is also a reminder that games can be for good rather than just shoot-em-ups. I used to play SimCity but it has been a decade or more since I launched it and started terraforming land for a new town. I remember that it was a challenge putting in housing and commercial blocks, getting mass transit started, supplying electricity from power stations, building sewer and water connections, deciding on whether to put in a sports stadium and most importantly, doing all this while not going broke. The game teaches balance among opposing demands. One must proceed with care to build a city of several thousand. While critics note that the game is not perfect, it is good enough to inspire people to go into urban planning.