Ever hear of Andyland?
It’s a bustling city of about 100,000 people—about the size of Round Rock. It has an airport—which was super expensive to build, so I hear—and the mayor is a total goofball.
Andyland is a city I created as mayor in Sim City 3000, or SC3K, a computer simulation game that’s nearly 20 years old yet still retains its fun and charm. There’s an entire Sim City franchise that also spawned The Sims series of games. Maybe you’ve played or own one of these games. Friend of this blog Katy Perry was even affiliated with a recent iteration of The Sims.
SC3K lets you sculpt the terrain for your city, including rivers, oceans, mountains and trees, and you can also place roads, houses, businesses and civic structures as your city grows. This particular game even allows you to put famous landmarks in your city.
As someone who is familiar with the effects of zoning laws, road access and property value, SC3K is nerd central for me. Here’s some thoughts I had regarding the formation of my city. Would you want to live in Andyland considering:
• I make housing affordable. I know the sort of strain the affordability crisis is causing here in Austin, and I want Andyland to be a place everyone can live in if they want to. This means land value is often lower, however, and I collect less in property taxes to fund the city’s operations.
• The Alamo is mandatory in my city. As one of the landmarks offered in SC3K, the Alamo is next to the mayor’s home and serves as a point of pride for me as an ancestor of mine fought at the Alamo.
• I try to keep taxes low, but I sometimes need to raise them to fund initiatives that are for the benefit of the public, such as mandatory smoke alarms or a public smoking ban. Libertarians might not like Andyland so much.
• I refuse to make deals with other cities. I won’t take a neighboring city’s trash or export extra water in order to make some easy revenue. It just turns into a mess, I’ve found, as cities want you to take more trash and want more water, for example.
• I sporadically use cheat codes. I know there’s no cheat codes in life—but oh well.
• I won’t use nuclear power—if a power plant explodes, the fallout is dangerous to those surrounding the plant site.
• I turn off the ability for there to be disasters, such as fires or alien invasions. I hate seeing the city being destroyed.
• Sometimes if I know the city is generating revenue, I’ll walk away from the computer for a while to let the revenue amass so I can buy whatever I want with the fortune that winds up in my cash reserves. Once I was away from the computer for so long that my power plant imploded and everyone left the city. Oops! At least it wasn’t a nuclear power plant.
So if you think I’d make a good mayor, feel free to move on in.