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From SimCity to Real Girlfriend: 20 years of sim games

In the process of completing his first game, Raid on Bungeling Bay, Will Wright developed a level editor that he found more entertaining than the game itself. Digging deeper into theories of urban planning and architecture, Wright converted the editor into a stand-alone product—arguably more "software toy" than game—that asked players to build and manage a city. You could zone land for residential, commercial, or industrial use, place roads, power lines, police stations, and more, all in the hopes of forging a livable, desirable city that could attract "sims" to settle and work.

In essence, Wright created a city simulator—and he put you in charge, as a kind of all-powerful mayor who lived (and ruled) so long as the city did.

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arstechnica.com
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