Well, as you can probably tell, I’m been recently infatuated with SimCity 4. For some, it’s an extremely tedious and boring game. I on the other hand enjoy it immensely for its (semi) realism and challenge. The game is quite expanded on the previous iterations of the series. With it comes the difficulty of managing, what I think is one of the more difficult aspects of a city, traffic. We’ve all heard of the road expansions and mass transit debates that go on regularly. When you get a city of 300,000 people, it gets pretty hard to make changes to the transit system without demolishing large portions of the city. A lot of planning and funds need to be available for a transit system to be efficient. You also must convince the people to actually use the mass transit systems once you build them; most will still want to drive their own cars. Special laws must be put in place and incentives given to improve the usage of the system. All in all, it’s a very delicate balancing job, one which brings frustration as well as satisfaction when you get it right.
For some reason I’ve always had an admiration for large cities. I joined a site call Urban Planet where people discuss different projects happening in cities around the world. There’s also discussions on problems facing those cities, ranging from pollution to traffic to urban sprawl. Perhaps it’s the majesty of skyscrapers towering over the streets or maybe it’s the excitement that comes with the amount of people and things happening all at once. SimCity, in a way allows me to create that sort of excitement. And it’s always nice to get those huge masses of steel and concrete popping up in your make-believe cities.
But the games does cost something more than just money. It has cost me a lot of time in recent days. Time that I could have, say, updated this blog. However I have discovered something that will actually benefit this blog from the game. There’s something in the SimCity community called City Journals or CJ for short. Basically you take screenshots of your city in progress and you write about how the city is growing. You can be very statistical and analytical, or you can sort of make up a story to accompany your city. It makes it more life like and real in a sense to talk about the growth of your city. And that’s exactly what I plan on doing. I’m going to add a City Journal section to this blog so you can see just how my cities are doing. I haven’t yet decided which way I’m going to take my journal, scientific or fiction-like. The stats side is what appeals to me mostly, since well, I’m a math and sciences kind of person. However I think the fictional version could be more fun and especially more entertaining for the reader. Who wants to pore over numbers all the time. Even I don’t.
So, for now, that’s all. Updates from the city I just started last night will be up relatively soon. So until then, don’t get wet from the rain…