EA donates SimCity to humanitarian project

Electronic Arts wants to use a simulated city game to promote actual learning in third-world countries. The publisher today announced that it is donating the 1989 city-building classic SimCity to the nonprofit group One Laptop per Child (OLPC). The game is currently free to play online via EA's...

Electronic Arts wants to use a simulated city game to promote actual learning in third-world countries. The publisher today announced that it is donating the 1989 city-building classic SimCity to the nonprofit group One Laptop per Child (OLPC). The game is currently free to play online via EA's Web site.

OLPC attempts to get durable, affordable computers into the hands of underprivileged children. Stating that there are 2 billion children in the developing world, the OLPC mission statement says it is "providing a means to an end--an end that sees children in even the most remote regions of the globe being given the opportunity to tap into their own potential, to be exposed to a whole world of ideas, and to contribute to a more productive and saner world community."

"By gifting SimCity onto each OLPC laptop, EA is providing users with an entertaining way to engage with computers as well as help develop decision-making skills while honing creativity," the company said.

OLPC's first laptops will be sent to countries including Uruguay, Peru, Mexico, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Haiti, Cambodia, and India by the end of the year.

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Discussion

55 comments
games5522
games5522

slash_out: The laptop is self powered. Look it up.

LordBelgarion
LordBelgarion

Nobody wanted it then, so now they're giving it away :p

EsYuGee
EsYuGee

Darth_Tyrranus: Yes, the laptops have to be bought. They are not free, but don't take my word for it. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,241598,00.html http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/6908946.stm http://www.olpcnews.com/countries/uruguay/olpc_uruguay_ceibal_proposal.html As for starvation: Wow, my bad. I didn't realize Ethiopia was on that list. Yeah they DEFINITELY need to pay alot of attetion to food security. As for the others, maybe your friends are mistaking poverty for starvation. Just because you can't fill your belly with three squares a day does not mean you are starving.

starcutter20000
starcutter20000

how bout suplying them to the less fortunate in this country first... DUH!

YukoAsho
YukoAsho

devtek - Storage IS possible on these laptops. While most don't have hard drives, opting instead for flash memory, they tend to have USB and SD memory ports.

werid
werid

strange that most of the games donated to this children helping project are +15 shoot em ups Doom, Duke nukem, Quake 1-3 ect I think they might be getting the wrong msg

glhx1rush
glhx1rush

What's next EA, cigarett and booze "donations"? hehehehe

Darth_Tyrranus
Darth_Tyrranus

@Bozanimal That makes sense. I was just confused because we were talking about different things. @EsYuGee Your post seems to be full of misinformation. Where did you get the idea that the countries have to buy the laptops? The article definately seems to imply that OLPC will be donating those laptops to the countries. Furthermore, you apparently don't know much about what is going on inside these countires. Starvation is one of the biggest problems facing many of the inhabitants of the countries listed. I have friends who have visited quite a few of these countries, and they definately would concur with me.

Ogoodwyn
Ogoodwyn

If u r interested in more about this humanitarian effort Netflix "T.E.D. :The Future We Will Create" or something like that". This was one out of many humanitarian projects put forth to a group of financial and creative supportors. Maybe someone here might find another one of their worthy projects to back up. (side note) Many of us take for granted how privaleged we are, and how invaluable education can be . (insert already post fishing adage)

Sonicgod
Sonicgod

They have been doing this for over 10 years. not news. In 7th grade to 9th grade for most days of the week I had an entire tech class where the assignment was to play sim farm, a sim, city sim earth, sim isle or sim ant on cheep low power macs for the entire class that hour until you had a "super city "or made tons of money in sim farm taking over the world. And they made us play sim city sim ant or sim farm for months at a time everyday like i did not play it at home enough on SNES years before. And in grade school it was the organ trail or myst. And they still do it to all the new students to this day on the exact same cheep weak low power imacs from 1994.

serbsta69
serbsta69

This is one of the reasons why i like EA.

robbie_basic
robbie_basic

This is one of the examples of why I like EA. I am the only one I think haha.

Bozanimal
Bozanimal

@Darth_Tyrranus - The article discusses EA and Simcity and whatnot, but many of the comments address the device itself. Mine was more to defend the device and the concept that bringing technology allowing access to a world's knowledge is sometimes just as important as basic needs to give people a chance to better their lives. I don't really care about Simcity, though it was a fun title.

1357900
1357900

@Bozanimal: Exactly the point! I believe this is partially, as technowiz999 said, a pr stunt. But it's one w/ that can only bring forth a positive outcome. And perhaps EA is trying to also piece together, it's shattered image, in we/us gamers' eyes. Most anything done for the good of mankind, is a positive. And the kids probably, to some extent, will get some kicks out of the disaster system, but I don't think, that they'll use just solely that feature of the game. I believe they'll play, learn somethings, & have fun, ll at once. So this is a positive thing.

EsYuGee
EsYuGee

Darth_Tyrranus I think EA does have its priorities straight. They donated one of their products to a humanitarian cause. The laptops themselves are not being donated. They have to be bought, most likely by the country's government or some other NGO. And besided the countries listed above aren't exactly starving (well Haiti might be in some trouble), so why you do you assume they are? I think Bozanimal was right talking about internet acces because that is one of the biggest selling points and benefits of the laptop. Finally, I think you took Bozanimal's quote too literally and did not really understand what he was talking about. He was talking about teaching them basic computer skills and exposing them to a significant amount of knowledge, not actual fishing (or farming or whatever). Perhaps your comment was the more irrelevant one.

Darth_Tyrranus
Darth_Tyrranus

Bozanimal I am not sure if you read the article very well. This article is talking about EA donating Simcity to impoverished children. You post talks mainly about internet access, which is not what this article is about. Simcity is not teaching advanced farming techniques, so your last quote is irrelevant. Of course Simcity will provide benefits to the children, but I what good is it if the children are starving? I just think EA needs to get its priorities straight.

B0Knows
B0Knows

too cheap to donate sim city 2000?? figures; they wouldnt want to give away a game that is actually fun and can teach them something

Bozanimal
Bozanimal

Anything that teaches kids from impoverished nations basic economics and finance is positive. Basic computer skills are critical in the modern world, and an internet connection will expose many kids to people and cultures they would never meet in person. Laptop recipients win on all counts. Most donations are band-aids, even basic food. Providing internet access to an impoverished kid is like offering them unlimited access to the knowledge of mankind. "Give a man a fish; you have fed him for today. Teach a man to fish; and you have fed him for a lifetime"

Darth_Tyrranus
Darth_Tyrranus

I suppose that this is somewhat generous, but I think food donations would have been more beneficial.

joeyfine
joeyfine

call me crazy but should we be putting videos games on a machine made to to help childern learn?

goliath98
goliath98

Is it really a donation if their giving a free game?

josephmadde2005
josephmadde2005

What the hell do kids need with a laptop? Give the little buggers a speak and spell like we had when we were kids...."I...C...U...P"

EsYuGee
EsYuGee

Slash_out: Actually, yes they will have free wireless internet through a mesh network (most likely connected through the school). I think EA should be commended for their contribution. BTW you don't have to read everything about a subject before you comment on it, but if you're not going to take the time at least read the basic facts you should not take the liberty of making asinine comments.

Kirbysuperstar
Kirbysuperstar

Slash_out: Hey, don't blame me for your own ignorance.

londonrider
londonrider

EA donates free-to-play game of 1989? Wow! What a generosity!

Slash_out
Slash_out

Kirbysuperstar : Really? Wireless internet capabilities ? Wow. Does that mean they have free internet? Does that mean the monthly fee is free for them? I doubt it. I lived in mexico for 2 years. And I never saw a wifi born for free acces. I don't know about the other country but I doubt it's any different as I have spent my life in under developed countries in Africa and a bit in Asia for my work and it was the same. I am sorry, but I won't read everything related to a humanitary cause, when I am in the mood to visit a gaming website. However I did check out the links given but not in there entirety, as I am not that dedicated. And certainly won't take your advice on that, sorry ^^. And EA is "offering" that game, don't forget that it's already free on their own website. Basically, it's just (of course) a way to get some publicity, since if those people wanted it on their pc, they could use the (graciously offered) wifi connection to download it. Well I guess in this capitalist world, when you do something, you except something in exchange right?

LostGraduation
LostGraduation

While yes it is a PR move, it is also using EA's position and notoriety to hopefully bring a worthwhile cause to the attention of the monstrous base of potential contributers that make up those who purchase EA's products. While it would be nice to see corporations like EA do more, awareness is a big deal, the guys at Penny Acarde have used their notoriety to motivate a lot of gamers to donate via http://www.childsplaycharity.org/ Hopefully this story/other pub can foster some of the same reactions.

Kirbysuperstar
Kirbysuperstar

slash_out: Perhaps you should go read the OLPC website. These laptops have wireless internet capabilities, and are loaded with simple versions of Linux, and education open-source software. They also run on power by turning a crank. Seriously, if you're going to be critical of something, at least have a vague idea of what you're talking about.

RaiKageRyu
RaiKageRyu

The original SimCity is not going to help third-world kids develop their city any better...

GrayHalo
GrayHalo

thats nice EA, but you couldn't spare simcity2000? lets give them something thats a little up-to-date.

SENTRY56
SENTRY56

Iam glad most videogame companies should be doing stuff like this to help around the world

Adam_the_Nerd
Adam_the_Nerd

Finally, doing something good. Like what glitchgeeman said; "even though it's a PR stunt, it's still helping underprivlaged kids." They can still do more tho. I know they have the money to do it

glitchgeeman
glitchgeeman

Heh, a bit of a surprise, considering it's EA, but still, I suppose I should give them props for this, and even though it's a PR stunt, it's still helping underprivlaged kids.

RLJSlick
RLJSlick

Good job EA, about time you do something good for someone, because you haven't done anything good for gamers in years! LOL

EE2lemmonhead
EE2lemmonhead

well this is the last thing we'll see EA do that helps the world

MKOwnzU
MKOwnzU

To technowiz999: YOU ARE MY HERO

DFTricks
DFTricks

Wow :) Here I tought they where just a bounch of burocratic a***ole, EA definitly went up in my trust as a gamer. I am sure other compagnies will donate other programs, this is one great way to contribute to the devlopment of teaching in school.

Nick_Howard
Nick_Howard

Why play simcity on a laptop? I rather wanna play flash games and watch porn

Slash_out
Slash_out

They are giving laptop to poor people? -_-. What are they gonna do with those? Aren't there more important thing they would need and BE ABLE to use than laptop? They won't be able to conect to the internet, won't be able to buy programs or games. What use is there for them? Are they gonna give it to people libvng in a house, with a telephone line and electricity ? Then maybe there are other people needing more help than them.

technowiz999
technowiz999

You people are so ignorant, of course its solely for PR and of course its been free for years, but those laptops suck and they wouldn't even be able to play a game from the last decade. OLPC had to acquire the licenses still though. Its not a sleazy thing for EA to do, its simply PR and any business would do the same. Stop hating the concept just because of your personal feelings for EA. And the kids aren't just gonna get on and blow up their own dang cities, have a little common sense you racist rednecks. The game can teach them plenty about how the economy works in more advanced countries and maybe help them change their own governments someday. Ignorant fools, think things through before you open your big mouths.

ryanthegreat232
ryanthegreat232

although a very nice gesture the game has some what been abandonware for years now. infact it is free to play on the EA website

OremLK
OremLK

So generous of them... Ahem. Yeah, right. Looks like an easy way to get good PR for them--load an old game considered abandonware onto some laptops. Might cost them a slight bit in labor, but it's basically free. Next time they should try donating something that actually costs them something; anyone can be charitable when it requires no sacrifice.

dgsag
dgsag

What a joke, I thought it was going to be a modified version of the last, 4th one. Not one that they;vve been offering for free...

Steel_Cyclone
Steel_Cyclone

The original SimCity? The one they've been offering for free for like 5 years? True heroes.

wizardps2
wizardps2

EA sucks! is promotin the 360 in their tv adds Buuu for you EA

Alastes
Alastes

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Ghostin-Dashell
Ghostin-Dashell

While it's easy to be cynical about much in the games industry... this is the haves helping the have nots. That should be applauded whether this initiative is successful or not. Well done EA for helping out when asked.

CommanderShiro
CommanderShiro

EA is helping out Cambodia? Oh man, I hope some of my relatives get a chance to play the game.

ETP3
ETP3

good tax right off... but do u think the kids who are getting the laptops have even been to a city, kind of funny when u think about it... the 1st city (or only) they see is vertual