EAT IT! City Simulator is a game that analyses current problems
in urban planning, and more generally problems of power distribution.
Providing the players with elementary urban planning tools, it exposes
the conflict and confrontations of public and private interests.
The board is an abstract representation of an area set into grid
formation, upon which a number of simple state changes can imposed.
Each block having four states, the interaction between these allows for
conditions that either benefit or hinder the growth of a supermarket
chain, and the associated industrial farming needed to sustain that.
The physicality of the object allows the players to set certain
conditions, and therefore test different strategies that the
supermarket business applies to the real world. While learning and
applying the rules, the players gains a deeper understanding of the
conflicting principles of the business sphere and those of the public
interest. By enticing the player to adapt to a set of behavioral
limitations , which may in fact be far their own belief structure, the
game subverts the individual into the mindset of the industrialist.
Competition or rivalry between two players being enough to mask the
actual effect of their actions upon the eco-system / urban landscape.
As such an understanding of the games underlying principals is only
achieved after the player realizes the aims of mass industrialisation,
and all micro economies replaced by large conglomerate machinations.
The boards use three-colored LEDs controlled by button switches
changing states of the cells. The four different city zones are
represented by three colors and the off-state. A programme running
on a ATmega chip controls the display, responding to the user input and
applying the rules automatically. The boards are designed so that they
give the player the space to think about various different strategies
to grow or destroy a supermarket business, by changing the conditions
in the city.