Sim city has its roots in the Sin City of the desert of Nevada, Las Vegas, a sub-product deriving from a peculiar way of understanding the zoning principle of the Athens Charter applied to a continent. Sin City was a utopia that sprang up in one of the most inhospitable places on earth, with the sole aim of encompassing what the rigid morality of the post-war period could not accept in the cities of well-to-do families: The existence of gambling, prostitution, drugs, and murder.
Sim City, an elaborated and innocent version of Sin City, was born in 1955 in Anaheim, a city located on the outskirts of Los Angeles, with the aim of inaugurating Disney's first theme park. Disneyland was the first incursion into the terrain of urban simulation, with the creation of an enclosed environment within which on payment of an entry fee differences of sex, age, language, creed, and culture were annulled. The first-generation Sim City was a repairing balm for the conflict festering in the metropolis. Hence its overwhelming success.
Supported by a culture avid for events, and spurred on by the apotheosis of the media and the show society, the advance of thematization would be unstoppable as from the inauguration of Celebration, the first residential operation sponsored by Disney in the 1980s. After these came Seaside, Poundbury, and a whole string of second-generation Sim Cities for real citizens for whom existence can become a game, standard bearers of an overwhelmingly successful trend, New Urbanism.
At this point the philosopher Félix Duque leads us to the third state of the definition of Sim City, in which both the city and its citizens are simulated. A product of the ingenuity of computer programmers, simulation games transfer the thematized Sun City to the interior of the evanescent City of Bits, with the aim of recreating in it the idyllic network of the Old City of the United States that has gone for ever. Sim City inaugurated the computer game trend known as God Games as an escape from life in the city within the Non-city, where the seductive sensation of the omnipotence of he who creates and destroys mixes with the unstoppable voyeurism inherent in the contemporary culture of Big Brother.
Will Wright is the founder of the Maxis world computer programming giant. Wright started designing computer games with the Raid on Bungeling Bay helicopter simulator in 1984. However, being more attracted by the construction of scenarios than by the development of play action, he became involved in an ambitious project of the simulation of urban surroundings known as Sim City, which came onto the market in 1989 to huge success. Subsequently he also worked on The Sims, which became the best-selling computer game of all time.
- SimCity.comWebsite of the Sim City video game