Wednesday, September 3, 2014

10 Things I Have Learned from 150 Hours Playing Simcity

So I recently crossed an important life threshold: my computer told me that I have played SimCity for 150 hours since I bought this version. I say "this version" because the game has been around on one form or another since I was in high school, so 150 hours is a drop in the bucket of how long I have enjoyed the game. 

Anyway, the game has taught me a lot and I'd like to share with you some of what I have learned so far from my virtual tenure as mayor of many cities.

1) People always want more shit. It doesn't matter how much I give my citizens; eventually it is taken for granted and becomes an expectation.

2) People get really upset when the sewage system is not up to par.

3) I have never heard a kid say "I miss going to school" before, but kids in cities without education say that to the mayor. I'm sure you do, but not that much.
4) I am a huge fan of public transit, but let me tell you that shit is expensive. I wish I could raise fares but the game doesn't allow it.

5) As I sit on the subway writing this blog, I am reminded that this version of SimCity doesn't have subways. Commuter blimps, buses, trains, magnetically levitating trains, sure. But no subway. I am stunned, but subways were always the most expensive thing that I would put in too early and bankrupt my city. Maybe it was a positive omission for me personally.

6) Legalized gambling works wonders for the coffers until you see the crime spike. Put police stations near casinos and businesses around them or citizens will complain. (At least it's casinos and not psychics, right, Front Royal, VA?)

7) There is a map view with structure in green--ones citizens want in their backyard--and red--stuff citizens do not want to live near. I can see not wanting to live near a nuclear power plant, but not wanting to live near a train station? There is a slight decrease in land value for living near one. The only explanation I have is that the more wealthy people are in the game, the less they care about public transit or being near it. Having lived near one in the past, it is all about the area around the station.

8) The spiritual part of the city is not as prevalent as it used to be. In earlier versions of the game, for every x number of residents, a church would appear. Now you can add a church if you like at the request of citizens. Destroying a church in the old game was a dick move and you would get the karmic backlash of a disaster like an earthquake thrown at your city. The same still holds true in this version, except that you have more choices of houses of worship. And sadly, there is no sacred grove or circle of standing stones.

9) I love that all the houses, people, and businesses are individually named. You can click on anything--or any person--and it will tell you about them. Are they happy? Do they have a job or money? What do they want? You can follow them around with the push of a button. This is big data taken to an extreme. Wouldn't some big companies love this? (Sounds like the magic bands I got last time I went to Disney World...)

10) Mayors of the world, you have my respect and admiration. I don't know how you do it. How you deal with all of us motherfuckers wanting things all the time is amazing to me. Thankfully I didn't have to get elected mayor of my SimCity, since that would be an entirely different kind of flying altogether--or all together, depending on if you're a fan of "Airplane!" or not. (If you haven't seen that movie, you need to.)

Well I can't sit here blogging all day. My virtual citizens likely have some concerns they want to bring to my attention. You people want monster trucks now? Fuck me.

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