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Great post. What made me cringe is the mention that health insurance is one of the things that keeps companies from hiring. The way we have chosen to provide health care needs to change before we'll be able to get a better work-life balance. And, there are many other such "rules" (all choices we have made as a society) that could help improve work-life balance. I'm optimistic because these no absolute reason these rules can't be changed and the USA is constantly re-inventing itself.
Great article and comments. We developed a game called BusMeister that tries to explain public transport operations. We too struggled with the question of how to make the project feel like a "game" rather than a simulation. BusMeister is pretty good, although its user interface needs improvement, party because transit operations is so complex. Here's a link to the game: Here's a link to a draft "Teachers Manual" that explains the game and how to play in detail ( We want to use games to teach citizens about public transport so they can help identify good ideas (crowd sourcing) and also provide political support for difficult decisions (taking parking to build a bus lane). So we combine the game with a best practices wiki/blog and a social network so players can comment on how to improve public transport in their own cities. The prototype application is on-line at ( Now we need to refine the system and find a progressive public transport agency who wants to test it ... your ideas welcome!
Toggle Commented Aug 22, 2011 on what makes a good "planning game"? at Human Transit
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Aug 22, 2011