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SimCity Incorporated into Art History Course

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February 6, 2006. Last fall, Professor Hilary Ballon used the popular game SimCity in her The American City: Urban Forms and Social Patterns course to create realistic scenarios faced by urban designers. Working in groups, students developed strategies to deal with population growth, transportation and traffic, cultural and religious education, zoning, and infrastructure. One student reported, "Many of the challenges facing urban designers, like the difficulties in creating a comprehensive city-wide water system, which had seemed trivial in class, became all important when it came to enticing residents to the city. We saw the effect that different street grids had on growth and evaluated the boon that public transportation gave to neighborhoods."