- Whilst the game is laced with fictitious city hazards (roaming giant lizards to name one), Sims have started to incorporate some real decision making into their gaming
- The next release will see gamers manage resources, natural hazards such as earthquakes and floods, cleanliness and education levels, and compete in world city leagues on each of these issues
- “Gaming for good” trends could help to engage the public on environmental issues, and raise awareness of the complexities and trade-offs involved with environmental decision making. Imagine a virtual town that needs power and food supplies – gamers could balance the costs and benefits of using land for nuclear, renewable, or biofuel energy production, with food production.
- Simulation games may seem trivial but they could represent a key decision making tool for policy makers or businesses in the near future. In the UK, the National Trust’s My Farm project is used to help people reconnect with food and farming online. Expansion of this concept within a limitless virtual environment could easily connect with thousands of users testing the implications of their decision making by changing parameters such as waste collection frequency, population size, river flow, or pesticide use.
Exploitation of simulation technologies could offer government and industry a method of visualising and simplifying what are otherwise extremely complex decisions and educating the public about the key trade-offs considered by Government.