Ivor O’Connor

March 8, 2013

Latest Western Propaganda Device: SimCity 2013?

Filed under: Uncategorized — ioconnor @ 7:12 pm

I have never played SimCity but that doesn’t stop me from having lots of opinions. I always have lots of opinions.

This morning while on the treadmill I was listening to a show on Jupiter Broadcasting called SciByte and they were promoting SimCity 2013. How much fun it was and how you could play online with friends. However the things they thought were important irritated me. Why the need for a fire department? Or a police department? Why coal plants? People should not build until they can build something that will not burn. Society should support education and events so that no citizen is left behind and feels so desperate as to steal. Coal plants are not cost effective compared to say solar thermal for baseline 24×7 power. Then there are wind turbines that can be installed across the country and linked together with HVDC lines as well. With the law of large numbers and a little math wind can be overbuilt to the point it is all we need. And as Tesla is showing battery powered cars are the immediate future. His current S series is great though at 50-100K still too expensive. Even though they are selling out as fast as he can produce them and has a backlog of over a year. His next model, the model-X, will be a soccer mom van with 4 wheel drive and priced 30-50K.  So what’s this SimCity game teach? Any of these values to get Americans thinking positively?

Well first off it is only available on PCs. I understand they have a Mac version on the way or sort of here. No mention of a Linux version though. No Linux version is a show stopper for me. However after reading the review in Scientific American I’m thinking the game might have some positives.  SA copies in a quote from the games creative director Ocean Quigley “I don’t want to enforce sustainable design principles in the game — I want them to emerge as natural consequences of your interaction with the simulation.”

However the senior software engineer Dan Moskowitz loses me with this statement “Those “natural consequences” can take a number of forms. Cities built to run on cheap, abundant fossil fuels can expand quickly, but overdependence may imperil those that don’t eventually diversify their energy supply”. I see the solar panels that are being “dumped” by China. They cost well under a dollar per kWh and over their life of 40 or more years become a magnitude or more cheaper than coal.

I don’t know if SimCity is a vehicle for distributing propaganda or not. I suspect it is though. The whole notion of a city is out dated. If it ever comes out for Linux I’ll be tempted to try it out if they have a free version. I’m certainly not going to pay up front for something that might enforce what I consider propaganda.

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