Sunday, 5 February 2017


This weekend, I decided to play SimCity. SimCity is an open-ended game, where you create your own city as the mayor. While playing the game, I put my educator cap on to critically examine the benefits of implementing SimCity in the classroom. One of the most significant benefits of the game is that it incorporates intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation throughout the duration of game play. Here is how:

Intrinsic Motivation
● Messages popping up telling you if something is going wrong
● A scale is included which marks the percent of your Sim’s happiness/sadness
● You have to budget and maintain your money properly in order to succeed within this game
Extrinsic Motivation
● SimCity provides rewards such as coins and tools in which you earn from completing challenges and tasks.

● The coins or tools you earn help you to then advance your city

         The main concepts relate to modern urban planning. All of the scenarios within the game have challenges, such as reaching a certain population, reaching a certain bank balance, and reaching a certain popularity rating. Thus, many of the concepts taught through the game can easily be interwoven into curriculum material. Supply and demand, budgeting, urban planning, managing the environment, and designing transport systems are just some of the concepts that the game teaches. If students played this game in the classroom, I believe their creativity, collaboration, and critical thinking skills would increase. Students need to be creative towards individualizing their own cities with different specializations. Students need to think critically about which strategies and resources to use, the decisions and responsibilities of being a mayor, and about being proactive and prepared for novel situations. Through the multi-player mode, students can gain collaboration skills by working with their peers. Due to all of this being imbedded within the game, I believe SimCity could be a great resource to use to teach Financial Literacy (budgeting, taxes, and handling and managing the finances for the city), Mathematics (arithmetic skills), Geography (resources, such as building transportation, landforms, and water resources), Environmental Literacy (students could be taught how to be environmentally eco-friendly through purchasing energy-saving resources, like wind-mills), and Social Studies (the players can learn what makes a good economy in relation to citizenship).

         I think this game would be a great resource to use to supplement the curriculum in Grade 8 subjects, particularly Geography, Science and Mathematics. Not only is it fun and engaging, but it also incorporates 21st Century literacies, such as Financial Literacy and Environmental Literacy. As well, realistic global issues can be discussed through a critical lens using this game, such as overpopulation, lack of renewable resources, and sustainability, which can help strengthen the learning experience for students. For a small glimpse of the game, check out this trailer! 

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