Sim City was one of the first simulation programmes. In the game you are the mayor and chief architect of a city you are responsible for building and manufacturing. You attract SIMs, simulated citizens who build houses, stores factories – generate a tax base that funds the cities finances and allows further development. Perhaps John Banks needs to play the game as he struggles with the problem of funding developments at Eden Park.

In learning terms the game is interactive and student centred using realistic contexts. Don’t forget that pilots play games as they learn the complexities of flying a large passenger plane, they use flight simulators. Chemists also play with simulation games at university as they design molecules with particular geometries and polarities. Sixth form chemists use pen and pencil to do the same thing in exams using theory that is over 30 years out of date. Listen to the designer of Sim City as he describes his latest game Spore. Hard to imagine learning about evolution without playing this game

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