Ever wondered why computer games like Simcity and Cities Skylines will selfdestruct the towns if you raise taxes?

Here's a long read about the right wing economic theories that laid the foundation for Simcity when a logic was needed during its creation and then continues to influence game makers (and policy makers) today

(from Logic Magazine)

@ohyran did I wonder? It was hell trying to just get it up to 20%, and here I am happily paying 40%! Those sim-city simulated egoist citizens!!

@ohyran this always drives me NUTS in Cities Skylines

@ohyran I wonder how hard it would be to update Micropolis or Lincity-NG to remove such boneheaded assumptions.

@starbreaker @ohyran lincity-ng doesn't have these assumptions in the first place, since it's less of an economic simulator and more of a resource-management one.

in the game, you must build different structures (communes, markets, farms etc.) to provide the citizens with food, goods and jobs (or else pay them unemployment benefits). you can't control how much taxes they pay -- instead, you manage the resources they produce in order to maintain a proper balance.

@devurandom @starbreaker @ohyran lincity seems like a much more civilized, leftier version of all this

i should play it again

it was the highlight of the one time my dad let me try suse linux

and of course i got the bug after that and wanted to learn about it after that

@starbreaker @ohyran speaking of simulations that go into more economic detail, there's also "citystate".

it still assumes a roughly-capitalist idea of how the economy works, but within it, you can go anywhere from "libertarian laissez-faire republic" to "massively state-owned social democracy", with different consequences for each.

@devurandom @starbreaker @ohyran Huh, maybe labor and resources is a more accurate lens through which to view the world than the arbitrary social construct that is money? :mrmarx:

@socalledunitedstates @starbreaker @ohyran except money is still a thing in the game. you spend it to build structures and to pay unemployment benefits, and if you go in the red, you can't build certain stuff, like parks (which function as pollution absorbers in the game)

@popefucker @ohyran nope your city explodes if you raise taxes. If you drop them, business and industry and people move in faster.

I've never touched taxes in that game and my biggest city is over 100k pop

@popefucker @ohyran yeah cause base tax is 11% and they don't mind that

@Pyretta @popefucker @ohyran In SimCity 3000, the surest way to build a functioning city with a modicum of social programming is to invite big casinos and high-pollution deodorant factories into your city ASAP and put them on the outskirts of town where people don't notice them too much; they can essentially subsidize

@ohyran I always just figured it was because if you could just always raise the taxes the game would become too easy and they needed some way to regulate difficulty

@ohyran Having gone on a SimCity binge over the summer, I can say from experience that once you have a happy, well-balanced city, maxing out taxes has surprisingly little influence on approval or population.

@ohyran @Are0h really interesting! Me, I just want a city I don’t have to build jails and prisons into 🤷‍♀️

@ohyran “I became a total Republican playing this game” Holy crap!

@wlonk @ohyran

"Since 2003 we produced artisanal remedies to the idiocy of mainstream entertainment in the form of free, short-form, online games."

Fantastic! 🤣

I wonder if they have an account on the #fediverse...


"This led [Forrester] to make the stark assertion that “the intuitive solutions to the problems of complex social systems” are “wrong most of the time.” In essence, anything we do to try to improve society will backfire and make things even worse."

"Forrester’s arguments enabled the Nixon Administration to claim that its plans to slash programs created to help the urban poor and people of color would actually, counterintuitively, help these people."

Oh, ffs

@ohyran This was fascinating. And reminds me that at last week's game night there was a discussion about how Monopoly was supposed to teach people how bad capitalism (or private land ownership) is, and the discussion turned to everyone 's anecdotes about how they would cheat or how they first learned that their older siblings were always cheating at the game, which, if you want a metaphor for capitalists exploiting the underprivileged..

@ohyran this is my kind of article if I've ever seen one, shame it took a month to reach me!

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