IBM’s CityOne game is like a serious SimCity

In Fall 2010, IBM is releasing CityOne, a game that lets you play a city planner, facing the real issues confronted by modern cities.  From Fast Company:

The game’s premise is based on the real world: Cities already consume 75% of the world’s energy and cause 80% of its carbon emissions. And they’re growing at a blistering pace: The world’s urban population is expected to double by 2050. So cities have to grow smarter if they’re to support the massive population migrations that are happening worldwide.

CityOne is much like Sim City, only the problems are scarily real, ranging among energy, water, banking, and retail. So, for example, one day you might get hit by a rapid increase in water usage due to population growth–while you’re still losing 40% of your water supply to leaky pipes. (This is actually reality, in decrepit megalopolises such as Mumbai and Mexico City.) To fix that problem, you’ll have to carefully install a real-time water management system. Or, to encourage growth in small-businesses, you’ll have to set up an infrastructure of mobile payments, dynamic invoicing, and micro-lending.

The website looks pretty cool and is filled with some interesting facts on infrastructure problems faced by cities.  The only downside: you can’t unlease godzilla-style monsters on your city.

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