Pretend to be a (Real) Mayor

When I have spare time or even feeling need a vacation (but can't do that instantly of course, where are the money and the day off? LOL), I always run into my laptop and open a game, the old one actually. SIMCITY 4 DELUXE EDITION. That is name of the game. It was actually published by Maxis and EA Games in 2004. But I have still enjoyed this game until now. I did play SimCity (2013) but I didn't feel the same when I played SimCity 4. SimCity 4 is just simple yet challenging, and it really covers what urban planners must do.

The rule of this game is actually simple, but not as simple as when we play it: build the city as big as you can. First step, with your limit budget, add school, hospital, power generator, water pump, and landfill as the basic facility for your citizen candidates, to attract them come to your city. When they come and then build house to settle in, they will pay tax and continuously increase your city budget to build more. After that we can add police station, firehouse, library, museum, and other amenities of the city. If the city becomes rich, we can be rewarded with mayor statue or notable landmark as investor's interest such as radio station, tv station, or even spaceship station. To make city more attractive for tourists or just to make it prettier, we can add some landmarks. I always do this and prefer to choose "tower" building. I see that tower symbolizes dignity of the city so that my city has a true landmark (just my own preference).

Tower (btw it's CN Tower in the picture) shows city's dignity and good place for sight seeing to city landscape

In Indonesia, since last 2 years, smart city idea has been going viral. Some methods such as crime mapping, e-government, transportation system or traffic computation, etc have been provided by lots of local governments to implement the concept of smart city. Surprisingly, those kind of approaches were invented by Maxis in the gameplay since 2004! Below is the tool to monitor crime in the city. We can see the spread of crime happens in the city (yellow to red means low crime to the highest). 

Crime Mapping

SimCity 4 Deluxe Edition, which actually comprises 2 series: Simcity 4 and SimCity 4 Rush Hour, also provides transportation options to be built. There are many kinds for inner-city transportation such as bus, monorail, elevated rail, and subway. For inter-city, there are ferry, train, and plane to choose. Please be mindful that every option has price, much impressive one will cost a lot. We have to consider our budget.

Mass Rapid Transit with elevated rail. I love this one!
Below some captures of my cities I wanna show you. Sometimes I see them while imagine as if I were a tourist who enjoys trip in the city :)

City at night

Large park in the middle of city, like Central Park in New York City

I use Washington Monument to make Jakarta's Monas replica. Look at the name on the left corner :)

Golf course can be an alternative for green space within the city

University is needed if you want to build knowledge based city

Industry is good to boost both employment and technology development

Another pic with medium density buildings, highway, and elevated railway

Ferry terminal/port to allow citizens get out of the city, usually for going to work
Playing SimCity 4 is not only about building (and also demolish hahaha), but as a mayor we have to maintain city to be livable. If we can't provide what citizen needs, allocate budget for public needs imbalance, locate facility that reduces land value (like landfill, chemical research center, etc), citizen can protest and city is able to become chaos. Hahahaha I am serious. Mass protest is possible to happen in SimCity. Also, the worst thing is when your budget is negative. At specific rate (I forgot, probably -100,000 simoleons, SimCity currency) state government can wipe your city and remained citizens (bankrupt city will trigger population loss) will migrate to other city. Sounds scary, doesn't it? Hahahaha but don't worry, there is "Save" feature, so if you want to try something, just save the game before play an experiment ;)

Even though it is actually out of date (in 2017, it's officially 13 years after its initial release time. What a history!), I still enjoy play this game. If I feel bored with the feature, there is community site on internet, namely Simtropolis, that provides mod and other addition features. I once downloaded bus lane mod and allowed me to make BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) system. There are also various landmark all around the world, even Monas and Tanah Abang Market Building are provided there. Playing SimCity is a kind of cure of my boredom and shit mood.

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