Virtual city planning is fun; just ask anyone who has spent hours entranced by Will Wright’s classic game, SimCity. That’s why it isn’t just professional urban planners who will be excited to see CityOne, IBM’s new city simulation game. It’s intended to help officials, agencies, and developers solve real-world problems ripped from the headlines–such as climate change, electrical grid management, banking and retail supply chain crises. In total, there are more than 100 scenarios in the game.

Fast Company

This seems quite similar, though a bit more flashy-looking, to the sophisticated business simulation project offered throughout the Full-time UST MBA. Teams make weekly decisions about opportunities, product development, strategy, production and positioning in the global marketplace. Students receive weekly feedback on sales results, market share, stock prices and bottom-line profits. The business simulation enables students to more fully integrate all the elements of our solid MBA education: teamwork, analytical skills, communication skills, core disciplinary knowledge, strategic thinking and effective decision-making.

I loved SimCity as a kid and was intrigued by this new game’s launch this week. IBM’s take on the simulation allows players to make decisions about their city and the development and tools it needs to successfully handle different problems.

A sample scenario, courtesy of IBM:

Water Crisis Management: A city is struggling as water usage increases twice as fast as the population, supplies are becoming strained and possibly polluted, and the municipality is losing almost half of its water through leaky pipes. On top of all that, energy costs continue to rise. To complete the mission, players must come up with a way to deliver the highest water quality at the lowest cost in real-time.

My only other comment on CityOne, and I will admit I’ve only played with it for a few minutes, is that it seems to simply be a big ad for the type of services IBM offers. Is this genius marketing or too in-your-face for a game? What do you think?