Toying with the city?: using the computer game SimCity™4 in planning education

Minnery, John and Searle, Glen (2014) Toying with the city?: using the computer game SimCity™4 in planning education. Planning Practice and Research, 29 1: 41-55. doi:10.1080/02697459.2013.829335

Author Minnery, John
Searle, Glen
Title Toying with the city?: using the computer game SimCity™4 in planning education
Journal name Planning Practice and Research   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0269-7459
Publication date 2014
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/02697459.2013.829335
Open Access Status
Volume 29
Issue 1
Start page 41
End page 55
Total pages 15
Place of publication Abingdon, Oxon, United Kingdom
Publisher Routledge
Collection year 2014
Language eng
Abstract This paper discusses the impact of using the computer game SimCity™4 in student assignments to develop city and strategic plans. It is conceptualized around Lobo's (2005) critique of SimCity™ as 'toying with the city'. Two University of Queensland urban planning classes (one undergraduate, the other postgraduate) were asked to use SimCity™4 to build simulated cities. One class was about building historical urban utopias; the other was about strategic metropolitan planning. The paper evaluates the effectiveness of this use of SimCity™4 to develop students' plan-making skills, and reports on students' assessment of whether and how the game's assumptions forced modifications away from preferred planning outcomes. The paper concludes that, whilst SimCity™4 is indeed based on 'toying with the city', city planning practice is increasingly using computer-based simulations (some based on GIS) to toy with future city scenarios to play with and understand the likely outcomes of planning policies. The convergence of the two ideas gives strength to the idea of using computer games like SimCity™4 in planning education.
Keyword Computer games
Planning pedagogy
Structure planning
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management Publications
Official 2014 Collection
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Citation counts: Scopus Citation Count Cited 8 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Tue, 18 Mar 2014, 01:05:33 EST by System User on behalf of School of Geography, Planning & Env Management