What! Did IBM enter the game industry? no, not really, but it is true that IBM has launched CityOne, the world’s first smarter planet interactive simulation game. More than 7000 people who pre-registered are being notified of the release yesterday (Oct 4, 2010). IBM calls it “a serious game”. The game does more than entertain. The idea behind creating a serious game is that many professionals like athletes, soldiers, doctors play serious games (games that simulate their professions) in order to prepare themselves for potentially disastrous or the worst scenario events. These games prepare them by allowing them to explore different permutations of possibilities so that they can come up with real solutions for the real world problems in an intuitive way.
CityOne: What IBM has in store?
In CityOne, players are given a series of missions with different challenges that are related to real world problems. The game features water, energy, banking and retail challenges in a city context. CityOne is a SimCity-styled game but unlike SimCity where the players start from scratch, CityOne starts with full-formed city. They have to deal with already messed up realities. It offers the opportunity for the players to optimize and come up with solutions via an online game in which the player has to guide the industries within a city through all the missions. The main goal of each of the missions is to improve the city by attaining revenue and profit goal, increasing customers’ and citizens’ satisfaction, and making the environment greener with a limited budge.
IBM is also smart enough that along with the entertainment involved in the game and solving the real world problems, it also helps players to learn some of latest technologies like business process management, cloud technologies etc.
This is not the first game IBM has released; IBM has previously released INNOV8, a 3D game. But the game mainly concentrates on teaching some of the fundamentals of high tech concepts like BPM (Business Process Management), SOA (Service Oriented Architecture) and so on. It has become quite famous that more than 1000 universities downloaded the game and many universities including Marshall School of Business have included it in its curriculum.
Anyway for all the gamers out there who love strategy games like AOE or games like SimCity, here is, literally a real challenge. Let’s see if you are gamer enough to solve real world problems. Play the CityOne game.
Image Courtesy: IBM