Big Blue’s Virtual City

A few months ago, I purchased an Xbox 360, based solely on my experience playing one game – Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. And while I certainly enjoyed playing CoD:MW2, my gaming tastes have expanded and I’m currently making my way through the wonderful Borderlands. But with the Xbox still fresh on my shelf, games stacking up to play, I’m contemplating the purchase of a second modern gaming platform: <a href="Nintendo Wii

As I’ve mentioned, I’m not a big fan of the gym. And I’m attracted to the Wii Fit gaming bundle primarily because it will allow me to avoid the gym, yet continue to work out and lose weight and get myself in shape. And then I came across something that seemed to settle it in my mind as a certainty: yes, I will buy a Wii because I want to play <a href="SimCity on it.

SimCity’s an awesome game. I love it, although none ever seemed as amazing as SimCity 2000.

“But, dude, what the heck does this have to do with Big Blue? With IBM?”

This:

IBM said Monday that it plans to offer a SimCity-style online game that urban planners, students, academics, and others can use to learn more about urban sprawl and how to combat its negative effects on the environment.

IBM called its CityOne simulation a “serious game” that can help users “discover how to make their cities and their industries smarter by solving real-world business, environmental, and logistical problems.”

For now, the company is offering only a brief description. “CityOne will be a no charge, ‘sim-style’ game in which the player is tasked with guiding the city through a series of missions that include Energy, Water, Banking, and Retail industries,” IBM said.

It’s likely the game will include ways for players to apply simulated versions of IBM’s smart-grid technologies to optimize the performance of public infrastructure. IBM’s is pushing real-life versions of such tools through its Smarter Planet initiative, under which Big Blue is helping utilities and other organizations go green.

“Serious games allow professionals to inherently comprehend system interactions, and accurately model the potential business outcomes that can result, in a way that no other medium can do,” said Nancy Pearson, IBM’s VP for SOA, BPM, and WebSphere, in a statement.

Wow. It almost makes me want to be an urban planner!

One thought on “Big Blue’s Virtual City

  1. That makes me want to be a city planner, too! I liked SimCity Societies, but as with all of them, I got bored after a while. No doubt that is why they have disasters in them.

    I wonder what IBM would have as a disaster? ^_^

Comments are closed.