Video Game Thoughts: SimCity

SimCity was a 1989 simulation game for the PC designed and developed by Will Wright and Maxis. I first heard about the SimCity series from my mom. Her boss had a son that was really into SimCity 2000. That was the sequel to SimCity. When I got SimCity, I already knew it about was about city management. It wasn’t my favorite game because I didn’t have a very good imagination at the time. It was a really open-ended game. The player got some money to start with to build infrastructure. Then families and businesses would magically sprout up. They paid taxes on their earnings. The player then had more money to develop the city with.

I watched a lot of TV and movies as a kid, so I just got used to everything being fed to me. My brain never had to do any work. I did have toys to play with when I was really young, so I must have had an imagination at one point, but it had long been lost when I got SimCity in the late ‘90s. Because of my lack of imagination, I just didn’t have much motivation to keep playing once I had the basics down. It was fun for a while trying to balance everything and maintain a positive income, but pretty soon there was nothing more. I needed an imagination and more life experiences to draw off of.

Now, I could think of cities from video games, movies, and TV shows I’ve seen and try to recreate them. I could make a city with elements from many different things I’ve seen in real life. There are tons of possibilities, but they required an imagination, which I didn’t have back then. I am happy that I can be more creative now. I don’t know how I regained my imagination. For a while, my mind would just go blank when I had to be creative. At some point I could come up with my own ideas. Maybe I just needed to get older and more mature.

I received this game as a gift from my uncle. I don’t remember if it was for my birthday or Christmas, but it had to be one of those. He always gave really good presents. They were in areas that I was interested in, like video games here, but also morally good. SimCity was a simulation game. There was nothing objectionable in it. It wasn’t really an educational game, but it was indirectly as all simulation games are to some extent. It taught me a lot of how city management works.

Of course, in real life there isn’t some head honcho with absolute power to make every decision in a city. The decisions are split between mayors, police chiefs, councilors, and other city officials as well as the democratic vote. There can be so much debating and disagreement that nothing gets done. That would be too complicated for me to understand as a kid though, so, like I said, it was a good present.

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