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When Video Gaming Goes Green

Posted on Apr 23 2009 by Richard Defendorf

A video game released this week allows players to redevelop a community to green perfection – without pulling permits

One of the newest titles in the realm of resource management video games is “Plan It Green,” in which, as mayor of the formerly fair city of Greenville, your mandate is to rescue your little burg from the grip of deterioration and pollution.

Or as your speechwriter might phrase it, put the green back in Greenville.

“Build eco-homes and apply green upgrades, all while bringing new clean jobs and industry to your city. Increase your Greendex as you leave behind the ways of the past and create a beautiful, sustainable metropolis!” says the introduction to the game, which was co-created by National Geographic and game publisher Merscom.

I haven’t yet played this title (it is available for download for about $20), but a game reviewer I trust, David Becker, this week posted his take on “Plan It Green” on the gamer site Gamezebo. There’s a lot to like about this release, he says, in terms of challenge (the pace is quick from the get-go), graphics, and well-thought-out building options (including zero-energy homes, Co-Op Markets, parks, and other structures) that can be applied in the eight districts you visit in your capacity as mayor and builder in chief.

These changes have to be made at the right time, though, so you can raise a certain amount in daily taxes (and energy credits), research new buildings, or apply upgrades (including thermal insulation paint, solar panels, and eco gardens) to certain buildings and settings.

It could be that after a long day of sweating details on an actual construction project, your interest in this type of recreation might be diminished.

But maybe not.

“It might sound a bit odd,” Becker writes, “but “Plan It Green” is a great way to forget real environmental problems for a few hours by solving them virtually.”


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Image Credits:

  1. Nat Geo/Merscom
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