If SimCity introduced legions of gamers to the world of urban planning, then IBM's upcoming CityOne game looks to take that education to the next level. With real-time water management, microlending and smartgrids, will there be any room for fun?
We'll get a better idea of that tomorrow, when IBM introduces the game at the collegiate IMPACT conference. The game challenges players to take on many of the problems facing real cities today - overcrowding, inefficient energy infrastructure, stagnant small business economy, etc - and design smarter cities that can sustain and encourage the growth of a prosperous population in the future.
The idea here, presumably, is that it's always a good thing to educate the populace about the these sorts of problems, and, hey, who knows, someone might unwittingly stumble on a solution we can actually use. At the most recent TED conference, Jane McGonigal gave an impassioned talk on games and their potential to solve real world problems, and IBM's CityOne certainly seems to be what she had in mind. [Fast Company]