SimCity Coming to Classrooms With SimCityEDU

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Though everyone who has played a SimCity game knows there is more to city planning than building roads, EA believes its upcoming SimCity game will be in-depth enough to teach students about civics.

EA today announced that SimCityEDU is being developed to provide an "online educational community" based on SimCity. The publisher claims the community will be a resource for teachers to want to use SimCity as a teaching tool. It even claims that SimCityEDU's curriculum will be tailored to the U.S. Common Core standards for science, technology, engineering, and math.

SimCityEDU is being developed in collaboration with GlassLab, a non-profit R&D effort to combine gaming and learning. Using SimCityEDU, teachers will be able to create lesson plans based on SimCity. EA envisions teachers encouraging students to "think critically about the challenges facing modern cities."

"For decades, SimCity has been embraced by the educational community as an engaging videogame that also provides a powerful learning experience, teaching problem solving skills through imaginative civic gameplay," said Lucy Bradshaw, general manager of Maxis, the developer of SimCity. "We want to up the ante of SimCity's educational influence. Through our partnership with GlassLab, SimCity will become the foundation of a program to re-imagine learning in a way that will inspire today's youth to get excited about STEM education and become the problem solvers of tomorrow."

If nothing else, the game's combination of urban planning, environmental management, and socio-economic development might teach kids basic management skills. But who cares? Playing SimCity for homework would be fantastic.

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