The very first video game that I played hardcore was Maxis Sim City. I had an XT88 and it ran on DOS.
it was the days of playing a single simulation over centuries and even millenia of in-game time, and through the march of technology – and eventually, over various generations, into actual months to years of real time time – often leaving it to run overnight, monitor turned off.
Maxis was absorbed by EA Games and the games that had little people were also The Sims and the games integrated to build the very city from the GodView of the Eternal Mayor or from the GodView of Puppet Theatre over The Sims Franchise.
What is a bit funny is that these games were capable of being actual analytical tools for budget planning and forcasting that was more sophisticated than the computer tools being used by actual Municipal or Government at any level.
Games did what Office Productive spreadsheets and databases could do – including, having random event factors – like disasters and a “the People” element. Process Policy and Pie Chart and Bar Graphs OH My!
After all, the game The Sims was originally designed to be about building construction and the people were just programmed to be measuring sticks of survive to thrive to flourish. Beta Testers got involved in pushing the social aspect – so nested, The Sims is a good way for people with social anxiety to practise without consequences.
and the city and civ games of God-Emperor management really lets people learn to understand the differences in cultures and how values inter-relate, depending on the relative wealth and the conquer/conqueree or annex assimilation or can’t get along genocidal annihilationist.
there is a big difference between a game and real life – The People want Services, but they do not want to have to smell them or deal with the pollution realities.
Airports are High Noise and High Pollution because planes dump fuel on approach to landings. it particulates and just adds all those petrochemicals back into the environment
the earth doesn’t have a factory reset, it has tipping points and we are only at the start of understanding science, understanding nature – and we’ve done amazing on the bend it to our will – most civilizations end in disasters, be they natural or invaders.
In the Information Age, it’s Apathy and Oblivious – people don’t realize that The Nile River no longer floods.
Going Retro in City Management and exploring Civilization through their tech advancements and comparing to actual historic events and world leaders is also interesting to explore the challenges of older terrains – Hippos in Tutus indeed
PC simulators have more realistic adultier experiences than the kiddie consoles where it’s picture and movie action that matters, not numbers unless it’s Hit and Damage Healthometers. Tactical Data Displays.
Gamers vs doers…..
Fallout 4… The Sims in Dystopia… Settlement Management being added on, for what to do when what you want is a safe place to tinker and wander the wilderness and pick flowers.
Why Animal Friend maxed level is the bestus perk.