Electronic Arts and Maxis have announced plans to release a new installment in the popular Sim City franchise, currently scheduled for 2013.
Tilted Mill Entertainment, rather than Maxis, developed the previous title, Sim City Societies. The game moved away from the traditional “city building” that fueled the original’s popularity. Thankfully next year looks to be a return to the series’ roots.
Featuring an engine called ‘GlassBox’ the new title will render virtual cities in 3-D to highlight the prominent issues of city life: traffic, pollution, and economics.
One of the Sim City series’ values has always been its focus on serious civics. While an aspect of all the franchise’s games some emphasized it more than others. SimCity 4, for instance, earned complaints of “too difficult” from many players, as it utilized a complex management system.
Regardless of the level of difficulty, the game forces the player to be fiscally responsible, to make deals, to pass good ordinances. It tests the player in times of crisis.
In an ageof civic ignorance, a game like this is a necessity. One can hope that it will inspire a younger — or perhaps older — player to study government. It could even pique an interest in politics.
It certainly did for me — though, at the time, I didn’t realize it. I started playing the game at age six, after all.