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.