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One SimCity Per Child

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the now-that's-edumacation dept.


SimHacker writes "Electronic Arts has donated the original 'classic' version of Will Wright's popular SimCity game to the One Laptop Per Child project. SimCity is the epitome of constructionist educational games, and has been widely used by educators to unlock and speed-up the transformational skills associated with creative thinking. It's also been used in the Future City Competition by seventh- and eighth-grade students to foster engineering skills and inspire students to explore futuristic concepts and careers in engineering. OLPC SimCity is based on the X11 TCL/Tk version of SimCity for Unix developed and adapted to the OLPC by Don Hopkins, and the GPL open source code will soon be released under the name "Micropolis", which was SimCity's original working title. SJ Klein, director of content for the OLPC, called on game developers to create 'frameworks and scripting environments — tools with which children themselves could create their own content.' The long term agenda of the OLPC SimCity project is to convert SimCity into a scriptable Python module, integrate it with the OLPC's Sugar user interface and Cairo rendering library. Eventually they hope to apply Seymour Papert's and Alan Kay's ideas about constructionist education and teaching kids to program."

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Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21286573)

I really don't see where they are going with this being educational. Get out on a jobsite and start pouring concrete. Things are a little different than they are in that game. I would know.

Re:Tag as SLASHVERTISEMENT (3, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 6 years ago | (#21287029)

I really don't see where they are going with this being educational. Get out on a jobsite and start pouring concrete. Things are a little different than they are in that game. I would know.

A game, used in a supervised setting for educational use, with an actual plan: Growth in learning.

A game, used in an unsupervised setting, without any plan: Is just a leisure pursuit.

Nonsense. (5, Insightful)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 6 years ago | (#21287195)

Unsupervised games are the rock foundation of human society. What exactly do you think toddlers, kids and teenagers do when they play cowboys and indians, marbles, crash-the-truck, imitate-mom-and-dad-in annoying-ways, spin-the-bottle or other completely random, unsupervised, goal-less games?

I agree that there's a need for goal-driven and supervised learning (whether it takes the form of games or not), but games played in a leisurely fashion, without specific goals, are just as important in the development of a child. Not only that, but they are the only way that children can actually grow on their own, unless their educator/parents are supremely gifted and know the children better than they know themselves.

Education is more than just knowing how to pour concrete. I pity the soul that thinks that it isn't.

Re:Nonsense. (1)

neillewis (137544) | more than 6 years ago | (#21287341)

I've been dreaming for a while about a virtual environment which is itself a sneaky introduction to virtualisation and modelling. These are the skills the next generation needs. Anyone suggest a decent free 3d engine?

Re:Nonsense. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21287729)

There's a few 3D engines out there that are free....

Panda3D [panda3d.org]
Irrlicht [sourceforge.net]
Ogre3D [ogre3d.org]

Also, CitySimulation makes a free web-only version of their 3D engine.


Hatta (162192) | more than 6 years ago | (#21287211)

That's true, but a leisurely past time can be educational as well. Fun is one of the strongest motivators for learning.

Re:Tag as SLASHVERTISEMENT (4, Interesting)

Fallingcow (213461) | more than 6 years ago | (#21287521)

I've learned TONS of things from games and other diversions on the PC.

Mavis Beacon (explicitly educational) taught me proper typing, but chatting with my friends on AIM and (especially) busy IRC channels taught me to type FAST.

Shadow President is the reason I can locate practically any country on a map faster than the vast majority of people.

A lot of stuff in my political science classes (and my own readings on philosophy in general) reminded me of ideas and people in Deus Ex.

Medieval: Total War taught me more about medieval political geography, politics, and technology (war-related tech, that is) than I was ever taught in any level of my education (yeah, I know more from reading, but no class ever taught me this stuff; we always skipped from talking about the Fertile Crescent to covering the Age of Exploration. Seriously.)

Rome: Total War and a couple of its mods (Rome: Total Realism and Europa Barbarorum, especially) have taught me a TON about the Hellenistic and Roman periods of history. Thanks to them, I know BOTH the Koine or Attic Greek AND Latin names for tons of Mediterranean cities (though I often don't know the modern name!)

Bushido Blade 1 & 2 and Shogun: Total War taught me the names of a bunch of different Japanese weapons.

I know a bit about the operation of a variety of firearms that I've never physically used, from paying close attention to the reload animations in dozens of games over the years (Counter-Strike and most WWII shooters are GREAT for this).

OK, so a lot of it's not *useful* information, but I did learn :)


OrangeTide (124937) | more than 6 years ago | (#21287245)

A child can learn in an unsupervised setting. Part of becoming an adult is learning how to learn without someone actively directing you.

this "plan" idea is utter BS that you obviously pulled out of your rear end.

Re:Tag as SLASHVERTISEMENT (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21287271)

That's right! It is impossible to learn anything without an adult standing around telling you what to think!

People like you are the reason I hated school.

Bill Gates says: (-1, Offtopic)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 6 years ago | (#21286615)

"One Window per child"

In a visionary move microsoft today said every child will get an educational version of Windows Vista capable of displaying one single window at a time.

Re:Bill Gates says: (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 6 years ago | (#21286921)

Actually, do you know about Windows Vista Starter Edition?

Even funnier, it's intended for markets like these.

Here's the info: http://news.softpedia.com/news/Windows-Vista-Starter-Edition-in-Images-57484.shtml [softpedia.com]

Awesome (5, Interesting)

TheGreatHegemon (956058) | more than 6 years ago | (#21286637)

I remember I use to enjoy that game immensely when I was younger. I almost do believe it may very well help a person to develop their thinking abilities.

Re:Awesome (3, Funny)

superpulpsicle (533373) | more than 6 years ago | (#21286775)

It helps develop their thinking abilities. After all the Maxis buildings are replaced with EA buildings, signs, logos, skyscrapers. People will instantly know whos the man.

Re:Awesome (1)

ale_ryu (1102077) | more than 6 years ago | (#21287773)

Agreed, I used to spend hours playing Sim city, my only concern is the graphical appeal of the game, I just hope they improve it a little because the game is waaaay to old and children may not like it as much as we did back then.

Really now.. (-1, Troll)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 6 years ago | (#21286649)

We're trying to raise these kids out of poverty/third world squalor and ignorance. Why present them with computer games which will simply turn them into couch potatoes, dependant upon the next video game release for validation and ... never mind, answered my own question.

Really now..-Wants and needs. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21286781)

"We're trying to raise these kids out of poverty/third world squalor and ignorance."

Maybe we should ask were the OLPC project and Simcity falls on Maslow's hierarchy of needs?

Linux?!? (-1, Redundant)

headkase (533448) | more than 6 years ago | (#21286657)

If I remember correctly isn't the XO a linux based device?? And isn't the SimCity a Windows (or DOS) binary? Are they going to be running it in dosbox or cedega or something?? Anyone know for sure?

Re:Linux?!? (2, Informative)

EvanED (569694) | more than 6 years ago | (#21286679)

I know people don't read the article, but can we at least read the summary? It says it RIGHT THERE:

"OLPC SimCity is based on the X11 TCL/Tk version of SimCity for Unix developed and adapted to the OLPC by Don Hopkins..."

Re:Linux?!? (1)

alexbartok (764756) | more than 6 years ago | (#21286697)

Did you even read beyond the title? I wonder how you even managed to make it onto Slashdot...
It was ported, and it says so right in the text...

Re:Linux?!? (1)

c_forq (924234) | more than 6 years ago | (#21286755)

I remember SimCity on the Amiga, and accoring to Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] its been on OS/2, MacOS, SNES, Acorn, BBC Micro, GBA, Linux, Playstation, ZX Spectrum, and many more.

More SimCity links (5, Informative)

SimHacker (180785) | more than 6 years ago | (#21286933)

I ported the Mac version of SimCity to SunOS Unix running the NeWS window system about 15 years ago, writing the user interface in PostScript. And a year or so later I ported it to various versions of Unix running X-Windows, using the TCL/Tk scripting language and gui toolkit. Several years later when Linux became viable, it was fairly straightforward to port that code to Linux, and then to port that to the OLPC.

SimCity Info
http://www.art.net/~hopkins/Don/simcity/index.html [art.net]

Video Tape Transcript of Toronto Usenix Symposium Keynote Address
http://www.art.net/~hopkins/Don/simcity/keynote.html [art.net]

Video Tape Transcript of HyperLook SimCity Demo
http://www.art.net/~hopkins/Don/simcity/hyperlook-demo.html [art.net]
HyperLook SimCity Demo Video
http://www.donhopkins.com/home/movies/HyperLookDemo.mov [donhopkins.com]

Video Tape Transcript of X11 SimCity Demo
http://www.art.net/~hopkins/Don/simcity/x11-demo.html [art.net]
X11 SimCity Demo Video
http://www.donhopkins.com/home/movies/X11SimCityDemo.mov [donhopkins.com]

Linux SimCityNet Demo Video
http://www.donhopkins.com/home/movies/SimCityNetDemo.mov [donhopkins.com]

Cellular Automata in SimCityNet on Unix Video
http://www.donhopkins.com/home/movies/CellularSimCity.mov [donhopkins.com]

Unix World 1993 Review of SimCity
http://www.art.net/~hopkins/Don/simcity/simcity-review.html [art.net]

Multi-Player SimCity for X11 Announcement
http://www.art.net/~hopkins/Don/simcity/simcity-announcement.html [art.net]

SimCityNet: a Cooperative Multi User City Simulation
http://www.art.net/~hopkins/Don/simcity/simcitynet.html [art.net]

SimCity-For-X11.gif : Screen shot of SimCity running on X11.
http://www.art.net/~hopkins/Don/simcity/SimCity-For-X11.gif [art.net]
SimCity-Indigo.gif : Multi player X11 SimCity running on an SGI Indigo.
http://www.art.net/~hopkins/Don/simcity/SimCity-Indigo.gif [art.net]
SimCity-NCD.gif : Multi player X11 SimCity running on an NCD X Terminal.
http://www.art.net/~hopkins/Don/simcity/SimCity-NCD.gif [art.net]
SimCity-Sun.gif : Multi player X11 SimCity running on an Sun.
http://www.art.net/~hopkins/Don/simcity/SimCity-Sun.gif [art.net]
HyperLook-SimCity.gif : SimCity HyperLook Edition. SimCity running on HyperLook, a user interface development environment for the NeWS window system.
http://www.art.net/~hopkins/Don/hyperlook/HyperLook-SimCity.gif [art.net]
http://www.art.net/~hopkins/Don/hyperlook/index.html [art.net]
http://www.art.net/~hopkins/Don/lang/NeWS.html [art.net]


Re:More SimCity links (4, Funny)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 6 years ago | (#21287305)

I have a toaster that doesn't run it yet.
I you do that port, I can pay you in... um, simtoast.

Re:More SimCity links (1)

baud123 (977365) | more than 6 years ago | (#21287393)

I understand that the code will be fully GPLed, will it be the same for Artwork ? (images, graphisms...)

Re:More SimCity links (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21287475)

so where's the actual executable? now that would be worthy!

imho, what is needed is an open source simcity type engine / platform where the community could submit both input and modding and then maybe someday simcity could actually become the tool for actual real civic planning

btw, (and OT) just why are our cities are designed so damned poorly??

What's next? (1)

Critical Facilities (850111) | more than 6 years ago | (#21286683)

A targeted campaign to help develop observational skills and problem solving by packaging Myst with the XO? Sounds like the beginning of bloat to me.

Re:What's next? (2, Informative)

Stonent1 (594886) | more than 6 years ago | (#21286805)

Well SimCity certainly couldn't be much bloat. I ran it on a Tandy 1000 with a single disk drive and probably less than 640k.

Re:What's next? (1)

Critical Facilities (850111) | more than 6 years ago | (#21287007)

I was thinking bloat more in the context of how much value does it really add, versus how many resources it consumes. I guess I just question how much actual learning comes from playing the game.

Re:What's next? (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 6 years ago | (#21287981)

I was thinking bloat more in the context of how much value does it really add

What damn bloat are you talking about? All it takes is a few hundreds of kilobytes on the laptop's flash memory thing. That's what you're whining about? A few hundreds of kilobytes on a 1 GB (or was it 512 MB?) memory?

Should make it DHTML (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21286695)

EA already has a combination Java/Javascript version of the game online here: http://simcity.ea.com/play/simcity_classic.php [ea.com]

The game lends itself well to semi-fixed graphics that update on a slower basis. So making the jump from Java/Javascript to 100% DHTML would be far less of a jump than going from the original code to Python.

And don't worry about the saved games. It would be a perfect opportunity to put the Storage API (implemented in recent FireFox and SeaMonkey builds) to good use:

http://www.whatwg.org/specs/web-apps/current-work/#storage [whatwg.org]

Re:Should make it DHTML (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 6 years ago | (#21287691)


SimCity Classic Live requires Windows 95/98 or Windows NT with either
        Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 or higher
        Netscape Communcator/Navigator 4.0 or higher.

cruel and unusual (5, Funny)

stormguard2099 (1177733) | more than 6 years ago | (#21286739)

Is this to give the kids a virtual sense of what it's like to live in a 1st world country? "look at all of the nice luxuries you will never experience!" how about the irony of building a nuclear powerplant on a computer you have to handcrank?

Re:cruel and unusual (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21286835)

It would be cruel and unusual for those kids to not know what a 1st world country looked like, because then they would not know what to work toward when they help develop their country.

Great... (5, Funny)

pwnies (1034518) | more than 6 years ago | (#21286749)

Great, now all the kids in third world countries are going to think that western cities are subject to alien attacks if you type "cass" more than 3 times.

not much of a donation (0, Redundant)

Pvt. Cthulhu (990218) | more than 6 years ago | (#21286795)

isnt SimCity classic abandonware? should be free to download if you want.

Re:not much of a donation (4, Insightful)

SimHacker (180785) | more than 6 years ago | (#21287021)

SimCity isn't abandonware, and even if it were, you couldn't distribute or run it on the OLPC, for technical and legal reasons. The point is to extend and adapt the open source code for the needs of education, not just run the old version under an emulator.


Too Late... (4, Insightful)

p0tat03 (985078) | more than 6 years ago | (#21286815)

I see I'm too late to beat our cynical Slashdotters to the punch. Instead of complaining about how evil EA is, and what kind of ulterior motives they may have, can we simply not recognize this as a net Good Thing? I know I learned a lot of planning for the future, fiscal management, and balancing multiple (sometimes conflicting) priorities while still achieving overall success, from that game as a child. Technical issues aside from making the game run, this will be a great gain for OLPC users.

Re:Too Late... (1)

jhines (82154) | more than 6 years ago | (#21287807)

Sure is a better choice than GTA, or a shooter, etc.

Be cool if they could link to others playing, as neighboring cities.

The possibilities of edu-tainment are unlimited.

Do we want a world full of jerks? (5, Funny)

Debello (1030486) | more than 6 years ago | (#21286817)

When I first got my copy of Sim City years ago, I was such a jerk as a mayor. I had a damn fine city. No crime, no pollution, no trash, no fires, no NOTHIN'. It was the perfect city. I always managed a surplus, and the city could keep growing and growing. My excellent management skills made sure everything was compact and efficient. I was extremely creative in my infrastructure. I was also a jerk. When I realized that I was doing TOO good of a job, I decided, "That's it. This is boring. I'm going to be a jerk." So I started putting airports right smack in the middle of residential sectors, putting a single factory in the middle of a commercial district, making roads that could easily go straight zigzag, and making huge detours when I could easily put an inter-section. I also raised taxes as high as possible without having people get too mad. The power was really, really fun. Now, do we want a world full of egotistical ten years who are jerks to those who follow them "Just 'cause." I think not!

Re:Do we want a world full of jerks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21286909)

why should you have all the power?

Re:Do we want a world full of jerks? (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 6 years ago | (#21287109)

I also raised taxes as high as possible without having people get too mad.

I used to raise taxes to like 99% one year, then down to 1% the next year. I thought people my people would be mad, but only for a year at a time. Didn't work so well.

Re:Do we want a world full of jerks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21287121)

Sounds like the US Congress.

Re:Do we want a world full of jerks? (4, Funny)

lgw (121541) | more than 6 years ago | (#21287201)

Wait, wait, when did you become the mayor of San Jose?

Re:Do we want a world full of jerks? (1)

XHIIHIIHX (918333) | more than 6 years ago | (#21287349)

WHAT AS OPPOSED TO WHAT WE HAVE NOW? the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy lameness filter.

Re:Do we want a world full of jerks? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#21287467)

You know, with this kind of thinking and experience you'd probably have a great career in public transport.

Brilliant! (1)

machinelou (1119861) | more than 6 years ago | (#21286847)

The potential implications for Linux (or, open-source operating systems) in the desktop market, as a result of OLPC, have just been made clear to me.

Increased user base
Increased demand for applications and games
Increased demand for supported hardware

It's brilliant!

Re:Brilliant! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21287621)

Increase number of potential off shore developers ...

EA Not Being Evil for a Change (4, Interesting)

hardburn (141468) | more than 6 years ago | (#21286849)

Of late, it seems that EA is cleaning itself up. I between screwing up C&C: Generals (a patch for the expansion left the game in a broken state for a few years), employee mistreatment, and generally writing mostly shovelware franchise titles like Madden, I had been boycotting them. But now I think they deserve another chance because:

  1. Spore
  2. Give away the original C&C
  3. Made a C&C game that actually has a story connected to the rest of the C&C games
  4. One of the first developers to realize the Wii had potential

So while I'm still keeping a close eye on them, they've at least convinced me that their games are worth buying.

Re:EA Not Being Evil for a Change (2, Interesting)

rpillala (583965) | more than 6 years ago | (#21287409)

I've been reading Good to Great [jimcollins.com], and I think EA's acquisition of Bioware is interesting. Bioware not only makes good games, but they also develop some interesting engine technology. For example their infinity engine was used by a number of other games and recently we read that Mass Effect's chat system will be used in other EA titles. It seems like a more sensible acquisition to buy a company for their catalog and game tech expertise than to do it just to exploit the popularity of certain games. It could be that EA is quietly changing. I don't follow the games industry closely enough to make the statement for certain, but it does seem like something is different.

One of the main questions a good company should answer to become great is "what can we do better than anyone else?" If someone has found the answer to this at EA and is doggedly pursuing it, your list and this recent simcity move could be part of a bigger transition.

Re:EA Not Being Evil for a Change (1)

TorKlingberg (599697) | more than 6 years ago | (#21287561)

The three first make sence, but "realize the Wii had potential"? That's just commercial thinking, nothing noble about it. Microsoft and Sony may be big bad guys, but Nintendo have never been any less evil. Just smaller. Nintendo have been very hard on modders and independent game makers historically.

Two things... (1)

Arthur B. (806360) | more than 6 years ago | (#21286857)

- Will it work on a black and white screen when the color codes are so important
- What about the open source lincity ?

Re:Two things... (2, Informative)

njfuzzy (734116) | more than 6 years ago | (#21287051)

The original SimCity was black and white. I used to play it on a Mac Plus.

sim (1)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 6 years ago | (#21286865)

sim city was great. sim city 2000 was awesome. sim ant was pretty fun, had some really humorous moments. sim farm was tough. every farm i built went bankrupt except almond farms. maybe it was too realistic. sim life was cool as far as i could tell, it really taxed my pc at the time.
i still have the floppys, manuals and boxes for all those games. top quality stuff, i don't think you see materials of that quality any more when it comes to games.

Re:sim (2, Insightful)

boyter (964910) | more than 6 years ago | (#21286961)

The trick to sim farm was plant 4 crops of strawberries. Then keep buying land till you have 8 crops of them. Finally convert all of them to oranges. They have the advantage of only needing to be sprayed once every now and then, and having the crop sell for a bucketload of money. Using that strat you can easily beat the game and start planting whatever the hell you want.

Re:sim (1)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 6 years ago | (#21287019)

almonds were kind of like that. it was fun to watch the truck loads of laborers come in and pick them. and it wasn't too hard to build up enough cash to play around. get a crop duster and fly around, buy animals and let them go hungry until they broke out of their pens and caused trouble, etc.

Re:sim (1)

MBCook (132727) | more than 6 years ago | (#21286975)

The old games were great.

For SimFarm (a game I sunk way too many hours into) the secret was: oranges.

They fetched a high price, were pretty disease resistant, didn't need too much care, didn't have to be flooded, etc. You had to import them (there was a menu item for changing the possible crops) but once you did... moolahville.

Without changing the default crops I went for strawberries. They loved to get diseased and needed watching, but they were worth a bunch.

SimCity not all that constructionist... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21286879)

A lengthy mailing list post [anonymouse.org] from Alan Kaye, one of Papert's colleagues, raises the possibility that SimCity is not as constructionist as it seems at first glance:

SimCity is similar but more pernicious. It is a black box of "soft
somewhat arbitrary knowledge" that the children can't look at,
question or change. For example, SC gets the players to discover that
the way to counter rising crime is to put in more police stations.
Most anthropologists, sociologists, psychologists, and economists
would disagree violently. Alternate assumptions can't be tried, etc.
This particular version of SimCity may be different, though, because it is open source. However, the children won't be able to truly experiment with it on the XO laptops until it is converted to Python, since the XO laptops don't ship with a C compiler (and children probably aren't going to pick up C easily, anyway).

Re:SimCity not all that constructionist... (2, Informative)

Serhei (1150661) | more than 6 years ago | (#21287407)

It is going to be converted into an easily hackable form. There are literally dozens of various ideas over how to modify the source floating around the mailing lists already, and most of them involve allowing the user to actually look at the underlying game mechanics.

Re:SimCity not all that constructionist... (1)

PapayaSF (721268) | more than 6 years ago | (#21287873)

For example, SC gets the players to discover that the way to counter rising crime is to put in more police stations.

That is at least arguable, but there was an even worse one I remember: once a city got to a certain size, the only way to end citizen complaints about traffic was to convert 100% of the roads into mass-transit rail lines! I had a hard time imagining deliveries to supermarkets, or people moving households, or buying new refrigerators, all via commuter rail....

Natural Disasters (1)

pez4realz (1175475) | more than 6 years ago | (#21286979)

I can't wait to see what some of the more "creative" children think up as natural disasters.

I sincerely hope one of them will include a massive terminator army bringing the apocalypse to their newly constructed sim cities.

Y'know.. (1)

Carbon016 (1129067) | more than 6 years ago | (#21286999)

If they were really nice, they'd donate SC2000..and SimCopter, and Streets of SimCity. I had so much fun playing those when I was younger, never mind the infamous atrocious player models and gay kissing scandal in SimCopter. Making crazy cities with custom bitmap textures in the construction kit then driving around in 'em in SoSC..I played the original SimCity years later and it just didn't compare. Although getting the latter two to work on *nix might be a bit trickier than the classic SimCity..heh heh.

Can't Wait (1)

MBCook (132727) | more than 6 years ago | (#21287137)

I'm so glad they are going to release the source to this, I hope /. has a link to it when it happens. I've always wondered how the internal simulation of the game was programmed, as I've never seen one like that and I'd love to go see that source.

I really wish the source to more old games and programs were available. There would be so much to see. While some games don't really have source that would be easy to look at (Super Mario Brothers and many others are surely assembly)... some games like SimCity must have source considering how many platforms they were ported to (by the time it made it to Windows, they must have had a C version, or in some other high language).

Rails not roads (4, Funny)

cvd6262 (180823) | more than 6 years ago | (#21287147)

So every child in developing nations will know that door-to-door commuter rail is the only way to avoid congestion.

Re:Rails not roads (1)

Chris Pimlott (16212) | more than 6 years ago | (#21287355)

It's interesting to realize that the newest generation of urban planners and civil engineers were young enough to have been influenced by SimCity growing up.

why not sim city 2k? (2, Interesting)

sam_paris (919837) | more than 6 years ago | (#21287213)

The laptops are more than powerful enough to run Sim City 2000, which was far superior to the original, why not use that?

Re:why not sim city 2k? (1)

laffer1 (701823) | more than 6 years ago | (#21287455)

I wouldn't say superior. Each game had a unique feel to it. Sim City 2000 was fun because it included my home town. Still, I personally like the Super NES version of the original. I spent hours playing that and it was much easier to navigate on. The scroll speed in some of the games varies greatly with the computer you're using. I found that some were too fast.

Nice ... Finally a SimCity that won't crash (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21287243)

I'm sooo tired of building my dreamtown only to see it crash and burn

how do you fix corrupt simcity data files? i've looked everywhere, nada

Why not the network ver of simcity 2000? (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 6 years ago | (#21287281)

Or simcity1 + a few things from 2000 like water pipes, the highways, subways, zoned airports and seaports as well.

Socialist propaganda (1, Funny)

duncan bayne (544299) | more than 6 years ago | (#21287311)

Sim City is a great game - I used to play Sim City 2000 a *lot* back in the day, and still have an original Sim City 2000 CD knocking around somewhere.

However, I'd be hesitant recommending it as an educational game, as in that capacity it is essentially socialist propaganda. That of course is a consequence of the nature of the game itself; if common law replaced city planning, and services like roads, mass transit, healthcare and education were privatized, then there wouldn't be a lot for a Sim City gamer to do.

Essentially it'd boil down to administration & law & order - which are the proper functions of Government, but don't exactly make for a thrilling game :-)

Re:Socialist propaganda (1)

init100 (915886) | more than 6 years ago | (#21287669)

However, I'd be hesitant recommending it as an educational game, as in that capacity it is essentially socialist propaganda.

Socialist propaganda? I couldn't raise taxes to more than 20% in SimCity, and then the people would be moving out quickly. Where I live (IRL), the taxes are much higher than that, and we have no problems with abandoned buildings or people moving away.

Love to get my game ChipWits on the OLPC (1, Interesting)

dougsha (247714) | more than 6 years ago | (#21287367)

Anyone want to port my game ChipWits - the original version - to the OLPC? I've asked on the OLPC Wiki but haven't followed up.

I wrote the first version in FORTH (in 1984 on the Mac, C-64, and Apple II), so the source code won't be much help.

http://chipwits.com/ [chipwits.com]

SimWorld (1)

jkintree (870383) | more than 6 years ago | (#21287413)

Another great activity would be SimWorld with the game linked to actual data of the world's resources.

Um...so what? (1)

Urza9814 (883915) | more than 6 years ago | (#21287491)

He donated the ORIGINAL SimCity? That game's over ten years old! Big deal! It's not like it's worth anything anymore! I mean, sure, it's great that he's trying to help, but ya know, I'm pretty sure some of the newer SimCity games might do a slightly better job. Probably not the latest, but the second and I believe third ones were pretty good. Added things like garbage disposal and water, zoning, and a large variety of structures.

Re:Um...so what? (1)

wwahammy (765566) | more than 6 years ago | (#21287675)

Uh huh... You tell me when the handcrank computer is ready for that... geez

Re:Um...so what? (1)

Urza9814 (883915) | more than 6 years ago | (#21287963)

I've run Sim City 2000 fine on a 600Mhz with 256MB of RAM....these things have 433MHz with 256MB RAM...it may work. I can't seem to find the system requirements for Sim City 2000, but it does say it'll run on Windows 95...and there are Game Boy Advance and Pocket PC versions, and the Game Boy Advance has a whopping 17Mhz of processing power...so I'm sure they could get it running in some form.

Only one? (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 6 years ago | (#21287523)

Only one character per child? I'd make mine a really really fat character to compensate for that limit.

OpenTTD? (1)

otis wildflower (4889) | more than 6 years ago | (#21287571)

I wonder if there'll be a port of OpenTTD? Any chance the necessary Transport Tycoon Deluxe assets to get it working might be donated to OLPC users?

(Still want OpenTTD for Nokia S60e3 :p)

Re:OpenTTD? (1)

Mattintosh (758112) | more than 6 years ago | (#21287707)

I'm guessing that since it runs Linux, you might be able to find a copy of gcc for the OLPC (it doesn't include it out of the box) and compile OTTD. Alternatively, maybe one of the precompiled binaries on the OTTD site would work. The requisite TTDWin assets are "available", though it would be nice of Chris Sawyer to release them freely to the world now. And hey, you never know when they'll actually finish the 32-bit graphics pack for OTTD. It could be tomorrow (but probably not).

Railroad bug (1)

Coward Anonymous (110649) | more than 6 years ago | (#21287611)

I recall this worked for railroads but it may be applicable to other elements as well.
When the city starts clamoring for railroads just build them anywhere in a big clump (even in the corner of the map where they are not accessible or leading to anything). This way everyone is happy you have a railroad and they don't get in the way of anything - SimCity even simulates pork barrel projects!

Links! (1)

keithjr (1091829) | more than 6 years ago | (#21287671)

Okay, I'd love to read the original article but I don't know if I have the patience to guess-and-check my way through the onslaught of hyperlinks in the summary. Dear god, calm down with the linking already.

How about some meaningful aid for them (0, Flamebait)

olivercromwell (654085) | more than 6 years ago | (#21287843)

I've said it before, and I will say it again, the OLPC project is a waste. It is basically to satisfy Negroponte's enormous ego: Look at me, giving away FREE computers for illiterate children! Why not take that money, and spend it in ways that will make the lives of impoverished people everywhere more meaningful. Open up some more microfinancing projects so that small busnisses can get started. Fund teacher's and nurse's colleges in the third world so that there are more people to teach a child to read and write, and more people to provide desperately needed public health services. Why not send in experienced farmers to teach the people of the third world better agricultural practices so that they may feed themselves. Oh no, that stuff ain't cool. Look at me, I'm Negroponte! I make hand powered laptops to be sent to illiterate kids in the thrid world so that MY name will last forever.
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