Summary of “From video game to day job: How ‘SimCity’ inspired a generation of city planners”

From video game to day job: How ‘SimCity’ inspired a generation of city planners – Los Angeles Times Jason Baker was studying political science at UC Davis when he got his hands on “SimCity.” He took a careful approach to the computer game.
Instead of writing a term paper about three different models for how cities can develop, Baker proposed building three scenarios in “SimCity,” then letting the game run on its own and writing about how his virtual cities fared.
“That’s what really got me thinking about urban planning and ‘SimCity,’ where you put in trains, where you help people move,” said Trinh, now acting senior transportation planner for Caltrans in downtown L.A. In more than a dozen interviews for this article, people who went from “SimCity” enthusiasts to professional planners talked about what they liked about the game: The way you can visualize how a single change affects a whole city.
Will Wright, the creator of “SimCity,” imagined when he designed the game that it would be interesting only to architects and city planners.
Like most video games based on real-world jobs, “SimCity” oversimplifies some of the more mundane elements of urban planning.
The “SimCity: BuildIt” app, developed at EA’s Twentytrack studio in Helsinki, Finland, has 6.1 million players and more than 200 million lifetime downloads, according to EA. Inka Spara, the game manager, said the team has purposefully brought a more European perspective to the game.
The vast majority of players, whose exposure to city planning begins and ends with the game, might come to think “SimCity’s” approach is the only way to build a city.
Top of mind among city planners today is a set of problems not present in the game.

The orginal article.