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Old 11-10-2007, 09:08 AM
 
Location: Erie, PA
714 posts, read 1,258,734 times
Reputation: 177
Lightbulb Pittsburgh and SimCity!

Anyone here ever play the computer game/simulation called "SimCity?" There have been several versions: SimCity Classic (which came out way back in the early 90's I think), SimCity 2000, SimCity 3000, and SimCity 4.

One could build and manage a simulated city. The game simulated taxes, revenue, residential, commercial, and industrial areas, crime, pollution, roads, transit...the works. With every new edition, there were new things to manage. If taxes were too high or services were too poor, people would leave and your city would wither. If there was too little industry, unemployment would soar and the residential and commercial areas would suffer. Starting with the 2000 version, one could issue bond debt. If you took out too much debt, you would have to raise taxes, which created a vicious cycle of people and industries leaving, decreasing the tax base, resulting in higher taxes, and so on until you were left with a dying city!

Even though it was just a game, it simulated some important aspects of how real cities work. If seems like Pittsburgh has a few of the problems I described above! Should we give Luke Ravenstahl and the members of city council a copy of the game? Perhaps we could do the same for all of Allegheny County as well? Maybe they could learn a few things
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Old 11-10-2007, 09:10 AM
 
Location: Portland, Maine
4,179 posts, read 8,891,439 times
Reputation: 1463
New version coming out in mid-november of sim city called Sim City Societies. I pre-ordered my copy this week.
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Old 11-10-2007, 09:17 AM
 
Location: Erie, PA
714 posts, read 1,258,734 times
Reputation: 177
Sweet! I wondered when a new version might come out. It's been several years since SimCity 4 was released.
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Old 11-10-2007, 09:19 AM
 
2,902 posts, read 6,806,731 times
Reputation: 394
Quote:
Even though it was just a game, it simulated some important aspects of how real cities work. If seems like Pittsburgh has a few of the problems I described above! Should we give Luke Ravenstahl and the members of city council a copy of the game? Perhaps we could do the same for all of Allegheny County as well? Maybe they could learn a few things
LOL! Yes! I love those games!
Quote:
New version coming out in mid-november of sim city called Sim City Societies. I pre-ordered my copy this week.
Yep it looks AWESOME. Except it is less about managing a city and more about managing the social aspects of a city. It also isn't made by Will Wright or Maxis. They spun it off to EA.

Bleh.
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Old 11-10-2007, 09:47 AM
 
Location: Erie, PA
714 posts, read 1,258,734 times
Reputation: 177
Yeah I just checked out the site for SimCity Societies. It seems like a completely different game that is much less realistic. It looks like SimCity may have "jumped the shark" sad to say.
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Old 11-10-2007, 05:13 PM
 
252 posts, read 345,282 times
Reputation: 82
I've been a fan since SimCity 2000. I have 3000 now. I love SimCity. I think you may have a good idea there with making elected officials playing it for guidance. The game is well thought out regarding taxes, employment, roads, etc, as you said. You really have to work to get the right balance to make a city prosper and grow. I'm constantly amazed that Pennsylvania is apparently run on outdated economic models. Actually, it's as if they don't really use economics at all. Just a calculator. They tally the ever shrinking population, divide the budget by it, get a bigger number and then raise taxes. It of course drives out more people, causing the denominator to shrink again, and again,...
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Old 11-10-2007, 05:33 PM
 
Location: Erie, PA
714 posts, read 1,258,734 times
Reputation: 177
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnland View Post
I've been a fan since SimCity 2000. I have 3000 now. I love SimCity. I think you may have a good idea there with making elected officials playing it for guidance. The game is well thought out regarding taxes, employment, roads, etc, as you said. You really have to work to get the right balance to make a city prosper and grow. I'm constantly amazed that Pennsylvania is apparently run on outdated economic models. Actually, it's as if they don't really use economics at all. Just a calculator. They tally the ever shrinking population, divide the budget by it, get a bigger number and then raise taxes. It of course drives out more people, causing the denominator to shrink again, and again,...

Yep. And SimCity simulates that "death spiral" very well. It's just incredible that, even with a TWO BILLION dollar debt, the city leaders don't try to find efficiencies. The Act 47 State Oversight group made a list of recommendations to save money. During a mayoral debate, DeSantis asked Ravenstahl if he had enacted any of those recommendations. Ravenstahl didn't even seem to know what DeSantis was talking about. It's like the whole city government is a bunch of credit-card junkies. Sometimes I wonder if a failing grade in BASIC economics is a prerequisite for becoming a politician in PA.
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Old 11-11-2007, 11:58 AM
 
Location: Polish Hill, Pittsburgh, PA
26,044 posts, read 45,057,519 times
Reputation: 10860
SimCity Societies looks to be very disappointing to me, as I love to recreate realism in my simulated metropolises. I've recently been attempting to recreate Greater Scranton to see if I could create my own model city, but, alas Google Earth still doesn't have satellite imagery available for Northeastern Pennsylvania, so it's damn near impossible to complete this task.

For anyone interested in recreating real cities using SimCity 4, you should join the Simtropolis community online, where I've been following the progress of a recreation of Lincoln, NE using the building architect tool and Google Earth. I've become VERY impressed by just how closely the regional view and satellite imagery coincide. Stupid Google Earth and its anti-Scranton-ness! RAWR!
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Old 11-11-2007, 12:05 PM
 
Location: Erie, PA
714 posts, read 1,258,734 times
Reputation: 177
It will happen soon. Actually, just a few weeks ago they updated Erie with high-resultion photos. I imagine they are working on cities of Scranton's size as we speak.
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Old 11-12-2007, 03:47 PM
 
Location: the midwest
492 posts, read 1,570,083 times
Reputation: 229
Has anyone tried to recreate Pittsburgh on SimCity? Since graduating college, I've been underemployed and have spent lots of time playing SimCity. I created a map with geography very similar to Pittsburgh's. But I eventually got frustrated and quit the game because I couldn't get any commercial development in the "downtown" area. It just didn't look right with one-story shops and car dealerships where the skyscrapers should be...
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