Friday, September 28, 2007

Sim City

Way back in the dark ages of computer gaming, I used to play a lot of Sim City. Of course, any of you who are familiar with it, know that "Play" is the wrong word. It's more like entire months of my life micro-managing a city that never existed, without keeping score, and without any ultimate goal. You just kept playing until either you were run out of office by your unhappy simulated minions or you simply got bored.

It just kept going and growing. All I had to do is balance growth against cost against revenues against livability against taxes against amenities against more growth against traffic, and so on.. One false step, the city would go broke, the Sims would rebel, and I would get the boot.

Driving around downtown Spokane this evening, I realized something. If I had built this town in Sim City, I would have lost the game a very log time ago.

The city fathers (or mothers) have chose to bulk up the tiny little patch in the woods with every single tid bit and bauble you might find in a big city, but without any apparent resource or need.

There' a university, a convention center, a river park, an airport, a sports stadium, a half dozen high rises, a five story shopping mall with a 20 screen AMC movie theater, and music theater district and an un-godly concentration of hotels. Seriously, this place seems to be nothing but hotels. They are everywhere. They are legion.

But no one else seems to live here. I have seen very little in the way of permanent housing. No big industry. No vast assortment of government facilities. I can't figure it out. Who needs all this stuff? Who pays for all this stuff?? What do folks do here for cash?

I guess there is probably a large farm community in the surrounding area, but it's a little unreal how many public assets they have piled into downtown.

Anyway, that's my take. Apart from the shortage of good restaurants.

5 comments:

  1. They have Applebees, Shari's and for those special nights out... Red Robin.

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  2. It is probably a town designed around folks just passing through.

    I sucked hard at Sim City. Hard.

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  3. I think the game was invented by republicans. A low-tax strategy always worked best.

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  4. There's a Deja Vu in Spokane, and strippers gotta stay somewhere.

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  5. Shoot... a low tax strategy works best in real life. And I'm not even a Republican! lol

    I think I was bad at the whole "city planning" thing. Ever been to Boston? Much like that, only more sloppy and confusing... if that's possible...

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Be compelling.

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