Growing up, I was never that into video games. My parents never bought them for my brother and me until we were about 10 years old, and even then I didn’t really understand what the big deal was. My brother was very into them, but I was always more content watching him play video games than actually playing them.
However, I feel that this is a good opportunity to actually try video games that are different from ones that I may have been exposed to. The game that I have chosen to play is called Urbanology.
Going into playing this game, I thought that I would be designing my own city and going through various simulations and trials to make the city function well and be sustainable. I was wrong.
This game was more like a quiz where I answered 10 questions based on what I would do if I ran a city.
After I answered the questions, I could see the percentage of other people who answered the same. The graphics on this game are very nice, because it not only tells me what percentage of users agreed with me, but it also gives me a visual representation of it.
If a User wanted to, they could click on “Current Score” to see how their answers to the questions effected their score. Users are scored over eight different categories: Innovation, Transportation, Health, Affordability, Wealth, Lifestyle, Sustainability, and Livability. After each question, these levels could go up, down, or be unchanged depending on the User’s answer.
At the end of the quiz I saw what real-life city most resembled the city I had created. In my case, this was San Francisco. Urbanology decided this based on my highest priority of Affordability and my lowest priority of Wealth.
In doing this game a number of times, I also got my city as Tokyo and London, so this game is not very consistent.
I thought that this game would be closer to a video game than it actually was. I didn’t feel that I was influencing anything or that my answers had any meaning besides what city I should live in. I was disappointed in it.
I think in the future I will pick a different game, because I really didn’t learn anything. And when it comes to fitting video games into an educational context, I believe that learning something in the process of playing the game is the most important thing.