Gamification stuff we love: Run that Town
As a big fan and player of the original SimCity, I can’t help but be excited about the “Run that town” initiative created by the Australian Board of Statistics. They wanted to make citizens more aware of the national census, and traditional communications campaigns weren’t working.
Run That Town is a game for smartphones where citizens pretend to be mayor of a city and make decisions using real census data – from gender, employment, education, income, age, transport to home ownership information.
The game set people talking about the statistics about their area and tickled their interest in better politics to serve the needs of their area. With the elections looming in the UK, I wonder how many politicians if they played this game would be run out of town?
I think my fascination with SimCity always gave me additional interest in politics, it also gives me a clear escape when I don’t like what I see in the real world.
The Run this Town project generated both awareness and ideas and used real data in a game setting, which is innovative thinking from a government perspective. I just wish more governments would do this and that they then would listen to the ideas generated in the game especially by praised leaders.
The game gives feedback and the fact that you can be run our of town quite literally also gives you feedback on performance.
What other government games have you played?