Growing Up in the Culture of Simulation

  • Sherry Turkle


In the “Sim” series of computer games (SimCity, SimLife, SimAnt, SimHealth), a player is asked to build a community or an ecosystem or to design a public policy. The goal in each case is to make a successful whole from complex, interrelated parts. Tim is thirteen, and among his friends, the Sim games are the subject of long conversations about what they call “Sim secrets.” “Every kid knows,” Tim confides, “that hitting Shift-FI will get you a couple of thousand dollars in SimCity.” But Tim knows that the Sim secrets have their limits. They are little tricks, but they are not what the game is about. The game is about making choices and getting feedback. Tim talks easily about the tradeoffs in SimCity between zoning restrictions and economic development, pollution controls and housing starts.


Mobile Robot Artificial Life Power Ranger Biological Life Computational Object 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

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  • Sherry Turkle

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