While video games are a pastime for many, a hobby for some, and a passion for others, generally speaking the main purpose of gaming is entertainment. Electronic Arts and GlassLab have bridged the gap between leisure and social significance, crafting an online community that applies the essence of gaming to solve real-life, world-wide problems. Whoever says video games aren’t productive certainly has not heard of SimCity EDU.
Based on the award-winning SimCity video game, SimCity EDU is an educational tool that is currently in development by EA and GlassLab. Set to serve as a resource for teachers, SimCity EDU will utilize the realistic city simulation software popularized by the series to encourage students to think critically about the challenges facing modern cities. SimCity will be more than a game, it will be a vehicle for students, the next generation of leaders, to develop their skills in urban planning, socio-economic development, and environmental management.
“For decades, SimCity has been embraced by the educational community as an engaging video game that also provides a powerful learning experience, teaching problem solving skills through imaginative civic gameplay,” said Lucy Bradshaw, Senior Vice President and General Manager of EA’s Maxis Label. “We want to up the ante of SimCity’s educational influence. Through our partnership with GlassLab, SimCity will become the foundation of a program to re-imagine learning in a way that will inspire today’s youth to get excited about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education and become the problem solvers of tomorrow.”
Boasting an amazing depth of simulation gameplay, SimCity allows players to manage an entire cityscape like never before. Manipulate power, water, taxes, pollution, education, unemployment and much more. Decisions effect everything from large-scale systems to individual people, providing an experience that mirrors reality to a tee. Take a look at the game engine in the short video below:
As a kid, I would have much rather learned about economics, politics, and environmental dilemmas through a game like SimCity that’s for sure. What are your thoughts of SimCity and its application as an educational tool? SimCity will be released on March 5, 2013.