SimCity, the iconic strategy game that gave rise to a generation of “Sims” games, is getting a 21st century makeover. With the real cities of the world increasingly on the front lines of climate change, SimCity will include a climate change component.
The new version of the game, developed by Maxis in conjunction with the organization Games for Change, will force players to reckon with the consequences of their energy choices. If you put coal-fired power plants in your city, for example, you may see a rise in pollution and a decline in public health. You also may have negative impacts on nearby cities being run by your gaming friends. The new version is due out next year.
“In ‘SimCity’ resources are finite, you struggle with decisions people are struggling with today in the real world and your decisions can have a global impact,” said Maxis studio senior vice president Lucy Bradshaw at a recent conference in San Francisco.
The game, which was last updated about a decade ago, will also undergo a major facelift, including the addition of slick 3-D graphics.
The multiplayer features of the new game will enable gamers to act as local, regional and global leaders. “Want to be a bad neighbor? Produce mass pollution and watch your friends’ Sims become sick,” the SimCity official website states. The site notes that gamers can “participate in global challenges like lowering the total pollution output in the SimCity world to unlock a trophy to place in your city.”