Curmudgeon Gamer
Curmudgeoning all games equally.
21 August 2007
Sim City Anticipates Chinese Government Anti-Pollution Measures
Great title, eh?

China recently mandated that it would be forbidden for many (all-ish?) private vehicles, apparently nearly 1.3 million, to hit the Beijing streets for a four-day test, hoping the move would make the air quality just good enough to host the Olympics. It worked fairly well, if you believe all you're fed.

Here's a quote from an Associated Press story posted to ESPN:

Beijing had an air pollution index of between 93 and 95 during the test days, the city's environmental protection bureau said on its Web site. According to the State Environmental Protection Agency, an index below 100 indicates excellent or good conditions.
...
The index hit 116 Tuesday after the test and was 115 on Aug. 16, the day before the trial began, the Chinese statistics showed.


Let's pretend for now those readings are valid and can be used at face value.

China's move reminds me of what I used to do, years ago, when one of my high school teachers decided Sim City was educational, and we could hit the LCs to play a bit after our work was done. After playing through a few times, I didn't build roads, just mass transportation. It worked great. Sure, the people clamored for "more roads", but I simply ignored them and my congestion and pollution problems never cropped up.

Let this be a lesson to those like Bob who feel games similar to Civilization can't be educational, though AD&D for a college level mathematics can (I may have overstated his case a tad). Sim City encourages techniques that the Chinese government believes are effective. There's no arguing the usefulness of this sequidecade-old lesson delivered via a game.
--ruffin at 18:32
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