‘SimCity’ and the Culture-Making Power of Stories

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SimCity, the city-building simulation video game, was released 30 years ago—spanning computer, console and now mobile gaming. Not only did it challenge players to grow their town into a megalopolis, the game also shaped a generation of actual city planners.

On a positive note, SimCity inspired kids to become involved in their community and seek to improve the places they live. They saw the importance of local government and became mayors, council members and urban planners.

However, the game also “oversimplifies some of the mundane elements of urban planning” and provides “binary solutions to problems.” Players are taught to respond to situations in only one way. Creative strategies and new approaches weren’t options. As such, many city planners who grew up playing the game had their thinking molded — unaware, but fundamentally — by SimCity. …Read More.