Eat It! City Simulator

"EAT IT! City Simulator" (2010) is a game about urban planning by Selena Savic.

Eat It! City Simulator

EAT IT! City Simulator

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.


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