SimCity Societies helps explore climate tradeoffs

An interesting component of the latest installment of SimCity Societies, introduced back in November, is the ability to play out climate scenarios by designing cities that either expand or limit their greenhouse-gas contributions. Want to avoid coal powered electricity? Well, then you need to invest heavily in solar panels and wind power… which in turn drains your budget… better start funding research to make these alternatives cheaper. As you monitor the health of your city and the environment, you notice the environmental and economic impacts of your decisions and, significantly, the complexities of the tradeoffs.

For years, we’ve been involved in the design of software and curriculum to help students study the science of global climate change. We’ve found that once kids understand the science, they are perplexed as to why we’re not doing more to address the issue. The challenge has always been helping them understand the economic and social complexities that impact our everyday decisions (and this is often beyond the curriculum scope of the science teachers we work with). This game looks like a promising step to help kids explore these issues.

posted January 31, 2008 by matt

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