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German Lawmakers Have a New Platform For Their Policies — SimCity

BY Miranda Neubauer | Thursday, July 11 2013


Three German lawmakers may differ when it comes to policy positions, but all of them enjoy computer games.

In the run-up to the German national election in September, Electronic Arts has arranged for three German members of the Bundestag to play the German edition of SimCity and will feature their progress online over four weeks.

The idea is that the three participants use their parties' platforms to guide their city plans, SimCity explained in an introductory blog post, as they work to harmonize goals from different policy areas and form coalitions in order to gain the approval of the virtual public.

The three MPs participating are Lars Klingbeil from the Social Democrats, Dorothee Bär from the CSU, the Bavarian sister-party of the conservative Christian Democrats, and Jimmy Schulz, from the free-market liberal FDP. All three have focused on net policy issues as part of their legislative work, and all three are also members of the jury for the German Computer Game Prize.

In a video accompanying the project, Klingbeil says he is planning his city to be socially just while also incorporating innovations; Bär says she is planning her city to be family-friendly, modern and socially minded; and Schulz says he is planning his city to be modern, innovative, "and, of course, pretty."

Today, SimCity released the first images from the MPs' city simulations on Facebook and in a blog post.

As the blog post notes, Klingbeil chose to create a circular road network with a town hall building as a focal point, and has also made sure that the city's inhabitants have access to a lot of green and recreation space.

Bär's more compactly built city shows an emphasis on the education system with an elementary school and gymnasium, a public university-preparatory school, and, the blog post notes, offers the conditions "for thriving growth" with a stable energy supply system.

Schulz's city offers attractive residential areas on a coast and a modern wastewater disposal system, in addition to focusing on the education system. The blog post also notes that his "farsighted planning" and "resilient infrastructure" will make unhindered growth possible.