Electronic Arts is collaborating with BP to include climate change 'education' within the upcoming SimCity Societies.
"Since their inception in 1989, SimCity games have served as excellent creative and educational tools to convey complex subjects," said Steve Seabolt, EA's vice president of global development for The Sims label.
"With SimCity Societies, we have the opportunity not only to demonstrate some of the causes and effects of global warming, but also to educate players how seemingly small choices can have a big global impact."
The game does not force players to make decisions, but allows them to choose how to power their cities. The least expensive and most readily-available buildings in SimCity Societies are also the biggest producers of carbon dioxide. Should players choose to depend on traditional power sources, their carbon ratings will rise, possibly triggering droughts, heat waves and other disasters.
In the alternative, players can choose from energy power options such as hydrogen and natural gas plants, wind farms, and solar power. While these power sources keep the cities' citizens safer from disaster, they also cost players more of their funds and do not produce as much power.
"In our collaboration through this innovative game, we can provide education on the issues surrounding climate change, its association with carbon emissions and the ability to take early positive action through low-carbon power choices," said Carol Battershell, vice president of alternative energy for BP.
SimCity Societies will be available at retailers across North America and Europe on November 15.