What SimCity 2013 Can Teach Us

March 7, 2013 in Daily Bulletin

SimCity 2013 has been slammed by various reviewers, but Adam Sneed writes that the world’s mayors could learn a thing or two from playing the game:

  • In SimCity you can exploit the natural resources and conditions you start off with to find short-term success.
  • But over the long run those resources could run out, leaving the potential for a sudden sharp decline.
  • Changing course is hard though. You need to invest money (higher taxes for your citizens) on shoring up the economy against a threat that may or may not come to pass, in an initiative that may or may not be successful.
  • This is precisely the challenge that America’s rust belt faced. That region failed to diversify away from manufacturing and as a result Detroit and Cleveland continue to struggle to this day.
  • SimCity also demonstrates the importance of resilience. A small breakdown in a resource mining area, or a fire in an industrial area can have cascading effects that deeply affect the economy if not planned for.
  • The United States’ East Coast saw this during Hurricane Sandy when flooded subways handicapped the city for days.

Read more about the future of smart cities, how the game developers approached the concept, and the problems of pollution over here.

Source: Slate