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I agree with Cap'n that there are real risks in making simulations/games to model planning ideas, and with Jarrett on the impact. Bias creeps in without even knowing it, so it has to be managed and navigated well. SimCity oversimplified planning (no mixed use?!) and that made sprawl part of the end result. Apparently it wasn't interesting the be realistic – according to Will Wright. I disagree, and think it's almost a responsibility to move into realism to create a teaching moment. So I think there's a huge opportunity to do it right, which is what I was addressing in that article. There is so much activity in the gaming world and at the same time, planning is going through huge shifts in the tools it uses. Games like Cities in Motion are already working with the same ideals pro-transit folks. It's also Europe-based team, meaning they live and breathe the benefits of transit daily. And as a side, I don't think games/models need to be exact models of cities, but need to be real enough to express specific concepts and allow exploration. There's always going to be something left out because exact modeling is impossible. We already live in the 1:1 model of the world.
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May 25, 2011