Cost: Free (contains ads, in-app purchases)
Platform: Google Play Store
About 10 years ago, I guess, a new English teacher came to our school. In her spare time, she’d play the Sims game. I’d never thought to see what the game was about, but with this assignment, thought it might be a good game to try. Plus, someone recommended it to me. That a version of the game still exists is interesting in itself.
I became the mayor of the city that I was to build. As the mayor, I was responsible for constructing a city that would thrive. The people needed to be happy and I had to make sure they were happy by building more residences, providing utilities like electricity and water and adding factories, roads and parks. The city I built was pretty sufficient, but I could visit the neighboring town to get supplies if I needed to. At night, my city slept and I had time to plan other additions to the city. If I hovered over my residences, I could read comments from my constituents. If they were feeling great about the city, my score would be high. Their approval and how much money you save and spend and how you can sustain your city are the goals of the game.
I think this game holds a great deal of educational value and could be used in any number of classroom settings. I immediately thought of how I have my students design their own utopia to compare to the setting of several of the texts we read in all levels of high school English. It’s a great lesson in learning what it takes to run a city, so may inspire interest in city planning or service learning projects. You’re part politician, part city planner, part surveyor, and some other occupations I can’t name (because I don’t know the names). This would be a cool project and the dialogue that could take place between students as they justified their choices would be valuable.
(I tried to take a picture of my city, but my tablet would only let me do a screenshot of the opening page.)