Electronic Arts Inc. will donate the original SimCity to each computer in the One Laptop per Child (OLPC) initiative. OLPC is a not-for-profit humanitarian effort to design, manufacture and distribute inexpensive laptops with the goal of giving every child in the world access to modern education. By gifting SimCity onto each OLPC laptop, EA is providing users with an entertaining way to engage with computers as well as help develop decision-making skills while honing creativity. This is the first time a major video game publisher has gifted a game to the world.
In SimCity, the player takes on the role of mayor of a new municipality. Doing so requires laying out essentials such as housing, transport links, schools, factories and shops. The job also requires an ability to choose wisely. Players must also be financially savvy. The mayor must always be prepared for emergency situations as well, as earthquakes, floods and fires can wreak havoc on the town and require an immediate response so that fallout can be contained.
OLPC will begin distributing laptops in countries such as Uruguay, Peru, Mexico, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Haiti, Cambodia and India by the end of 2007. The idea to connect SimCity with OLPC came from internet pioneer, activist and OLPC advisor John Gilmore who knew the gameâ€™s history and recognized its potential relevance to the not-for-profit project. Not long after its 1989 release, SimCity became a phenomenon, winning more than 24 domestic and international awards. The game soon made its way into more than 10,000 classrooms as an educational tool and became part of the annual Future City Competition, a contest that still runs in seventh and eighth grade classrooms today.
Originally posted on November 8, 2007 @ 3:08 pm