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Canadian Town Uses Sim City-like Game to Engage Citizen

A small city in Ontario has big ideas about growth, and is using game tech to help achieve them.

As reported by the Guelph Mercury, the town of Guelph, Ontario (pop. 114,943) hopes to draw residents into the planning process with GuelphQuest, a Sim City-like affair. The game allows players to experiment with future development without investing money or a great deal of time. Said Craig Manley, manager of policy planning and urban development:

"There's no question that this is an innovative way of trying to deal with growth. It certainly has an educational component and a way of trying to get people to see that Guelph is going to change."

Guelph is one of Ontario's fastest-growing areas and Manley sees a need to coordinate city planning with provincial regulations.

The game, available on the city's website, asks players questions about issues like transportation and environmental concerns. Maps are generated based on user input, showing results - positive and negative - of the player's choices.

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