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Play SimCity For Real

Play SimCity For Real

By Anne Pawsey

SimCity is one of the most addictive computer games of all time, a virtual city where players can control every aspect of their virtual peoples’ lives. Now there is a plan to create a real version using census data from the UK. Social policy makers and town planners will be able to test the effect of their policies on a virtual population.

Dr Birkin of the University of Leeds has developed a computer model which contains details of everything from car ownership to health care statistics.

The model can show current trends or be used to predict the results of demographic changes in the future.

The data is anonymous so that you can’t see your own future but you can change the lives of the rest of the population; this enables a multitude of circumstances to be tested… everything from new traffic controls to a hospital demolition.

The model contains details from all the data bases traditionally used by the researchers and combines them in one place. As a result, city planners can test the consequences of various potential scenarios or just enjoy playing games with our lives.

If you want to see what all the fuss about, you can purchase the latest version of SimCity from the Prof's Bookshop.  I guarantee you'll have a quiet Christmas: you won't emerge from out behind the computer until January!

Main image: Justin Koenig

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07 Dec 2008
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