Thanks to my colleague Bill Svitavsky for this article. It’s a great example of how a very rich discussion can come out of comparing virtual environments with the real world. This is how complexity and simulation research works and is an important methodological counterpart to the highly problematic modeling in social sciences. Using computer games like Sim City (and many others) can help bring a level of methodological sophistication that is rarely even found in PhD programs to the undergraduate classroom.
This is critical thinking in the liberal arts par excellence!