Monday, November 19, 2007

SimSocieties: Practice Makes Perfect

With the popularity of the SimCity series, it’s a wonder more college students don’t opt for a city manager degree. What a feeling of accomplishment to see a city rise from nothing and emerge as a metropolis.

But because most of us don’t have such city hall aspirations (or 200 years to watch a city grow), we have to settle for the virtual construction found in SimCity. And now with the release of SimCity 3000, settling for this alternative doesn’t seem so bad.

I always found SimCity to be my speed, of all the video games out there. Non-violent and not requiring the driving skills of a maniac, the SimCity game plods along, as you, benevolent city father, plan out your city from zoning restrictions to city taxes.

In fact, one time I built a city called "WERTY". I'll never forget Werty, not because these consecutive letters are on everyone's keyboard; instead, I constructed this city along the ways I thought Mayor Ronald Reagan would: Low taxes, lots of freedom, a very large Commercial and Industrial area powered by a nearby nuclear power station, a university, both wide highways and city streets, well placed police and fire stations, and a well planned city rail system.

I also set the timer to pass "slowly" (in slow speed, the city's year creeps along at about a year per every 15 minutes of play). Pretty soon, I grew tired of watching mostly, not really playing, and so I went to bed, but I left SimCity on, and Werty growing through the night.
The next time I checked in on my city, I was really stunned: My city Werty had accumulated millions of dollars in wealth, ready to be spent on the city; house values were incredible, yet, there was a long waiting list of 'folks' wanting to move to and live in Werty; Pro sports stadiums were available, as well as an international airport and seaport.

The very clear lesson of my game's city, Werty, was that low taxes are the only way to go, seeing to the needs of the people in a general way, while allowing them (as their beneficent god) greater freedoms. It was there in black and white, proof that a conservative hand in charge of a city is the only way to go.

Well, now there is a new Sim Game on the market, one with the potential to decide how to govern in even greater, more minute ways. "SimCity Societies" is out, and just read what the makers and marketers are saying:
"Featuring an all-new, revolutionary feature set, SimCity Societies allows players to create their own kinds of cities, shape their cultures, societal behaviours and environments. Build an artistic city, an Orwellian city, futuristic city, green city, spiritual community or any society you want! With more accessible and innovative choices than before, SimCity Societies is the most versatile city building game."

This could be instructive, if undecided voters get ahold of this game, before next years' Presidential election.

Imagine a dismal, socialist city, headed by Mayor Shrillary Clinton, with dinky little box houses and a massive welfare and medical entitlement program built in... High taxes, small commercial districts, and very few freedoms without government approval.

Or maybe another Werty, a shining SimCity on a hill, led by Mayor Duncan Hunter.

Or a nightmare scenario, of which I cannot imagine, with Mayor Ron Paul in charge.

Wonder if the game has a 'Sharia Law' option too? If so, the game would run in reverse...

In any event, better to experiment on societal changes through SimCity Societies, than the real thing!~


Red S Tater said...

too cool mal, I wonder if Hillary's city will figure out a way to tax werty out of existence... or better yet get all the other cities to vote for you to pay for all their stuff with your fatcat werty city revenue.

btw- do you allow SUV's, transfats and smoking in werty? if so, i just might move there myself...

Red S Tater said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Localmalcontent said...

We enforce concealed and carry laws, too, in Werty.

Everyone has to have heat on their person.

Anonymous said...

Funny that in real life, those rich shining cities tend to be both Democratic and also tend to send more money to the federal government than they get back. The obvious solution is for the rich cities to secede and say "screw you" to the rest of the country, which seems to view them as evil homosexual communist socialist pornographers.

BTW, there's more than one way to skin a cat. I play Simcity as what you might call an evil socialist (That is, there is health care for all! Oh the horror! Oh the humanity!) and I do just fine.

The Localmalcontent said...

"Democratic" as opposed to the benevolent dictatorships that we all run, as player, you must mean.

That may be essentially correct, but I doubt if Hermitage is that way. Get back to work.