Gods of the City? Reflecting on City Building Games as an Early Introduction to Urban Systems

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

For millions of gamers and students alike, city building games (CBGs) like SimCity and the more recent Cities: Skylines present a compelling initial introduction to the world of urban planning and development. As such, these games have great potential to shape players’ understanding and expectations of real urban patterns and processes. In this article I argue that, despite the fundamental role of agency in CBGs and other sandbox type games, players are constrained by the developers’ assumptions and biases regarding how cities ought to look and function. Of particular consideration is the tendency among CBGs to emphasize personal transportation over transit, autocentric over mixed-use development, and simplified social dynamics over a more realistic model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-60
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Geography
Volume115
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 3 2016

Fingerprint

urban system
urban planning
urban development
god
trend
student
city

Keywords

  • SimCity
  • city building game
  • city simulation
  • planning pedagogy
  • urban planning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Earth-Surface Processes

Cite this

Gods of the City? Reflecting on City Building Games as an Early Introduction to Urban Systems. / Bereitschaft, Bradley.

In: Journal of Geography, Vol. 115, No. 2, 03.03.2016, p. 51-60.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{99115c2e95994efcad13089b4760f841,
title = "Gods of the City? Reflecting on City Building Games as an Early Introduction to Urban Systems",
abstract = "For millions of gamers and students alike, city building games (CBGs) like SimCity and the more recent Cities: Skylines present a compelling initial introduction to the world of urban planning and development. As such, these games have great potential to shape players’ understanding and expectations of real urban patterns and processes. In this article I argue that, despite the fundamental role of agency in CBGs and other sandbox type games, players are constrained by the developers’ assumptions and biases regarding how cities ought to look and function. Of particular consideration is the tendency among CBGs to emphasize personal transportation over transit, autocentric over mixed-use development, and simplified social dynamics over a more realistic model.",
keywords = "SimCity, city building game, city simulation, planning pedagogy, urban planning",
author = "Bradley Bereitschaft",
year = "2016",
month = "3",
day = "3",
doi = "10.1080/00221341.2015.1070366",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "115",
pages = "51--60",
journal = "Journal of Geography",
issn = "0022-1341",
publisher = "Routledge",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Gods of the City? Reflecting on City Building Games as an Early Introduction to Urban Systems

AU - Bereitschaft, Bradley

PY - 2016/3/3

Y1 - 2016/3/3

N2 - For millions of gamers and students alike, city building games (CBGs) like SimCity and the more recent Cities: Skylines present a compelling initial introduction to the world of urban planning and development. As such, these games have great potential to shape players’ understanding and expectations of real urban patterns and processes. In this article I argue that, despite the fundamental role of agency in CBGs and other sandbox type games, players are constrained by the developers’ assumptions and biases regarding how cities ought to look and function. Of particular consideration is the tendency among CBGs to emphasize personal transportation over transit, autocentric over mixed-use development, and simplified social dynamics over a more realistic model.

AB - For millions of gamers and students alike, city building games (CBGs) like SimCity and the more recent Cities: Skylines present a compelling initial introduction to the world of urban planning and development. As such, these games have great potential to shape players’ understanding and expectations of real urban patterns and processes. In this article I argue that, despite the fundamental role of agency in CBGs and other sandbox type games, players are constrained by the developers’ assumptions and biases regarding how cities ought to look and function. Of particular consideration is the tendency among CBGs to emphasize personal transportation over transit, autocentric over mixed-use development, and simplified social dynamics over a more realistic model.

KW - SimCity

KW - city building game

KW - city simulation

KW - planning pedagogy

KW - urban planning

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84956738551&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84956738551&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1080/00221341.2015.1070366

DO - 10.1080/00221341.2015.1070366

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:84956738551

VL - 115

SP - 51

EP - 60

JO - Journal of Geography

JF - Journal of Geography

SN - 0022-1341

IS - 2

ER -