SimCity adds global warming to the mix

SimCity Societies -- the forthcoming installment in the classic urban simulation franchise -- will include a global warming variable. If your SimSocieties aren't carefully balanced, they'll swamp their environments with greenhouse gasses and die off. The module is produced with BP, who, I guess, are trying to figure out what a giant oil company does next.

The game does not force players to power their cities any specific way, but allows them to make choices, each of which come with advantages and disadvantages. Similar to real-life, the least expensive and most readily-available buildings in SimCity Societies are also the biggest producers of carbon dioxide, an invisible gas that contributes to global warming. Should players choose to build cities dependent on these types of sources for power to conserve their in-game money, their carbon ratings will rise and, at reaching critical levels, the game will issue alerts about the threat of the various natural disasters like droughts, heat waves and others that may strike their cities.

Alternatively, players can strive to create a greener environment and avoid hazards caused by excessive carbon emissions by choosing from a variety of BP Alternative Energy low-carbon power options. Using hydrogen and natural gas plants to wind farms and solar power, SimCity Societies encourages people to learn about some of the causes and consequences of global warming in an engaging, educational and meaningful way. While these power sources maintain nearby property values and keep the cities' citizens safer from disaster, they also mimic real-life in that they cost players more of their funds, and do not produce as much power as less green options that take up similar space. Informative real-world snippets about power production and conservation will also be available in-game, informing players of global warming issues both virtually and in reality.

Link (via Wonderland)

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  1. “players can strive to create a greener environment and avoid hazards caused by excessive carbon emissions by choosing from a variety of BP Alternative Energy low-carbon power options. Using hydrogen and natural gas plants to wind farms and solar power, SimCity Societies encourages people to learn about some of the causes and consequences of global warming in an engaging, educational and meaningful way.”
    Even more importantly, it encourages people to associate BP with responsible environmental management, hooray!

  2. so, are these alternative energy options branded BP in game? And what went into developing the algorithms of cost, output and impact?

  3. BP’s been notably smarter and more responsible than the run of oil companies. You’d almost swear their executives have figured out that they live on the same planet as the rest of us.

  4. All the SimCity games incorporated pollution effects from the buildings and power plants. In each case pollution effected property value etc. In this case they are only making the extension to global warming. All the other features of the game were there before.

  5. I realize that SimCity strives for more and more realism in the game, but I still enjoyed the simplicity of the original the most. There are too many necessities now for me to just have fun with a city.

  6. It’s like the Grand Theft Auto made the jump to San Andreas: I don’t want to have to “exercise” in my video games. I exercise in real life. Too much like real work for a game!

    (a-b-a-b-a-b-a-b-damn I wish getting big muscles was this easy in reality!)

  7. I have played SimCity since the beginning. The SimCity modd community has done amazing things to make a decent game (SC4) good.

    It’s quite bad enough that the new SC has done away with most of the unnecessary (yet quite fun) complexity of the past games. But British Petroleum? Seriously? Sorry EA. You’ll not get a dime from this fan.

    Also, EA, could you open source the older SC4 if you are otherwise going to let it die? Your past fans have work to do.

  8. For “realism”, the game should also modify the carry-cost of the plants as hydrocarbons increase (or even just fluctuate) in price.

  9. Any one else look forward to building a city, adding dozens of old school power plants and destroying the world?? :-D

  10. Including global warming is a natural next step after the hyperrealistic disasters that you could encounter in the previous games. Like Godzilla.

  11. The US government should sponsor the addition of in-game terrorist strikes. Then you could figure out how you’ll surveil the citizens of your city – Hmmm, now where do I put all those security cameras…

  12. #5, I don’t think there ever was a Sim City in which pollution effected property value ;->

    Anyone else find it a bit odd that governing a single city should have noticeable impact on global warming? That feature feels shoehorned in to me. It would have fit in Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri, which has diplomacy that governs planet-wide policies, and ecology plays a quite prominent role.

  13. Yes, pollution affected the value of the area that it effected.

    Grammar Nazis eat your heart out.

  14. @Nex #13
    Agreed.

    It’s not even shure if humanity contributes to global warming in any noticable way in our current situation. Warming in one city & thourgh few decades it’s hardly realistic.
    BTW in temperate climate it’d be very beneficial to gain some 5 C. In first 2/3 of medieval people were growing large quantities of grapes in … Britain or Poland.

  15. Oddly enough, BP is actually the world’s largest manufacturer of solar panels. Shell Oil has been working hard to build up their own solar business, as well. It seems many of these oil companies are seeing the writing on the wall, and developing other lines of business.

  16. It’s interesting that Nuclear Power isn’t mentioned here at all. Did they remove it? It was in the earlier games, and emits no carbon…

    Perhaps BP doesn’t see any profit in nuclear?

  17. Hydrogen plants??

    If it’s “plants that run on hydrogen”, where is the pure hydrogen produced? A neighboring city’s coal plant?

  18. Peterus (15), the only reason it’s not “sure” is that scientists have a constitutional dislike of absolute statements. For everyday operational standards of “sure,” it’s been sure for some time now. And if you think a five-degree rise in overall temperatures is a good idea, you must live a long way inland, in an area with no dependence on agriculture.

  19. I wonder if they would have incorporated this feature if they would have known about the 9 unconvenient untruths

  20. Are those the nine small details in Al Gore’s film that were judged to be not 100% verifiable, which people have been using to try to discredit the whole thing?

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