(CNN) -- Despite the fact that basic math and
science cause me to bleed from my ears, I once confidently oversaw the
design and construction of a fully functional nuclear power plant that
provided safe energy to thousands of people. Hell, I even placed it next
to a playground. And for decades it never once experienced so much as
the slightest hint of disaster.
Until the monster came.
"Sir, you better take a look at this."
Yes, that was a rather dark day in the thriving metropolis of Jarrett-Is-Awesome-Ville.
So, in response, as
mayor, I quickly approved funding for a new football stadium. Which
didn't seem to help with disaster management.
"Sir, the people would like a word with you."
Of course, I was never really
mayor of a town -- I don't wear pants nearly often enough to hold down
that kind of job -- but I did enthusiastically play one on the classic
city-building simulator, "SimCity."
So, you can only imagine
the excitement I felt recently when the Internet suddenly starting
buzzing about the upcoming release of a brand new version of the only
video game I ever loved. And as more and more mentions of it started
popping up all over the Web, one thing became perfectly clear: I wasn't
alone in my undying passion for building fake roads.
That said, it's been
many years and several epic steps in computer technology since I've
actually played the game (it debuted in 1989). However, on March 5,
those of us who have long fancied ourselves as urban planners will get a
completely modern version of "SimCity" to once again assist us in the
gleeful neglect of our jobs, family, and personal hygiene.
Which, when you think about it, is fairly amazing.
"Sim City" shouldn't be
fun. Not even a little bit. Essentially, it's local governance. And from
someone who just went through the process of obtaining a real-life
building variance, I can assure you that City Hall isn't exactly the
ball pit at Chuck E. Cheese. And it probably has more traces of feces.
Yet, somehow, laying out
your very own town from scratch, managing its budget, and occasionally
destroying the whole community with monsters and earthquakes is
The true beauty of
"SimCity" is that for every disgruntled person who ever said, "This
whole place is run by idiots," the game offers a way for you to prove to
the world -- or at least, maybe, to your cat -- that you can do better.
And, if nothing else,
you can definitely take out all your day-to-day frustrations by
bulldozing a train station. You know, without actually bulldozing a train station. Which, after a full week of intense investigative journalism, I can now confirm is "illegal."
So, the other day, as a
remarkably distinguished member of the international media, I had the
opportunity to play a pre-release trial version of the new "SimCity,"
thus making it a five-star weekend.
Whatever. You have your major accomplishments in life. I have mine.
on that beautiful and momentous Saturday I actually had to borrow my
friend's PC laptop to do so -- which made me feel both confused and
dirty. Or at least more so than normal.
Sadly, the Mac version
of the game won't be available until later in the spring. So, the cool
kids will just have to wait. Which is going to be tough.
Seriously, if I was a
grizzly bear I'd probably just hibernate until late April, wake up,
stretch, murder a bunch of salmon, and then immediately download the new
And then murder more salmon. Because I'm a grizzly bear. Who owns a MacBook Pro.
So, here's what I can
tell you: The graphics are really pretty. And it's very thorough. Very. I
can't confirm this, but it's entirely possible that you have to choose
interior wallpaper for the local VD clinic.
Also known as the future home of The Purell Center.
What can I say? I like to name things in my pretend community. Our future Major League Soccer team will play in the Bill and Melinda Gates Terror Dome!
Aside from the updated,
fancy graphics and insane attention to detail, the other notable
highlight of this new version of the game is the option for multiplayer
and multicity. You can actually manage up to 16 towns at once and
compete against other people. Though, personally, I prefer to make
"SimCity" a simple, private affair. It's much easier to willfully launch
a tornado on the trailer park when you don't have to answer to anyone.
Except The Sims. Your citizens. Who I imagine will be super enthusiastic to live in my temporary disaster housing, Joy Acres.
Our motto: "We want you to be happy!"
And why shouldn't they be? They'll have a great view of the nuclear power plant.
Thursday, May 23 2013 9:02 PM EDT2013-05-24 01:02:26 GMT
The Armed Services YMCA has big dreams for a state of the art center in Harker Heights. Thursday they were presented an even bigger check to help make that dream one step closer to a reality. LashondaMore >>
The Armed Services YMCA has big dreams for a state of the art center in Harker Heights. Thursday they were presented an even bigger check to help make that dream one step closer to a reality. More >>
Thursday, May 23 2013 6:26 PM EDT2013-05-23 22:26:43 GMT
(KCEN) -- Big news for Boy Scouts and gay activists nationwide. Today, the Boy Scouts of America voted to remove its ban on openly gay scouts. More than 1400 delegates will be voting on this decisionMore >>
Big news for Boy Scouts and gay activists nationwide.More >>
Thursday, May 23 2013 4:48 PM EDT2013-05-23 20:48:45 GMT
(KCEN) -- There is major accident on the northbound I-35 access road. The accident is just south of exit 306, Pendleton Road. Three cars are involved in the accident and heavy traffic is starting toMore >>
There is major accident on the northbound I-35 access road.More >>
Thursday, May 23 2013 1:47 PM EDT2013-05-23 17:47:24 GMT
(KCEN) -- A Fort Hood soldier is accused of helping his friend sexually assault a woman in Austin. Twenty-three-year-old Sergeant Jeremy Bolen is now in the Travis County Jail. He and 28-year-old MichaelMore >>
A Fort Hood soldier is accused of helping his friend sexually assault a woman in Austin.More >>
Thursday, May 23 2013 1:36 PM EDT2013-05-23 17:36:37 GMT
(KCEN) -- Victims of the Fort Hood shooting massacre may have to wait a little longer before their civil trial against the government. A motion was filed on May 17 to delay the trial for 14 months. LawyersMore >>
Victims of the Fort Hood shooting massacre may have to wait a little longer before their civil trial against the government.More >>
Thursday, May 23 2013 10:50 AM EDT2013-05-23 14:50:11 GMT
(KCEN) -- A 7-Eleven cashier in Killeen was stabbed during a robbery. It happened just before 2 A.M. Wednesday at the 7-Eleven in the 14-hundred block of Rancier. The clerk said this man came in theMore >>
A 7-Eleven cashier in Killeen was stabbed during a robbery.More >>
Thursday, May 23 2013 10:49 AM EDT2013-05-23 14:49:14 GMT
(KCEN) -- A man meets a woman at a Waco hotel and then ends up naked and robbed. Waco Police say around 3 A.M. Wednesday morning, a man met a female acquaintance at Motel 6 on the 3100 block of southMore >>
A man meets a woman at a Waco hotel and then ends up naked and robbed.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 6:45 PM EDT2013-05-22 22:45:58 GMT
(KCEN) -- An eight-year-old Killeen boy whose battle with cancer we've been following has passed away. Max Simmons captured our hearts earlier this year. He was diagnosed with brain cancer last mayMore >>
An eight-year-old Killeen boy whose battle with cancer we've been following has passed away.More >>