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Sim City and Loans

May 27th, 2008 at 12:29 pm

One of my best friends waltzed in to my apartment yesterday and showed me the most beautiful guitar I have ever seen. I don't know much about guitars since I am a drummer, but I do know an $1,800 Gibson guitar when I see one. It was dark with a burnt-orange sunburst in the middle of the body. Did I mention that he put $1,000 of it on a credit card that he won't be able to pay back for a LONG time?

I often wonder what makes one person borrow $1,000 for a guitar and another person put $1,000 in a savings account. I guess that there are several reasons that I am of the latter type, but one sticks out above the rest: Sim City.

Did any of you ever play the Sim City games? I first started with Sim City 2000. You started with a set amount of money. With that money, you paid for different types of zones: industrial, commercial, and residential. After you built roads and supplied power to the zones, citizens would start building houses, businesses, factories, and everything else that makes our civilization what it is.

As the mayor of your city, you had unlimited power to create and destroy. Well, you had unlimited power as long as you had the money. There was a budget to balance, and if you didn't have the money to build a road, you couldn't build a road.

Well, there was one way that you could temporarily get yourself out of a financial jam: you could take out a loan. I remember when I first discovered loans on Sim City 2000. I immediately took out as many loans as I could (Hey, free money!) and began building with reckless abandon. That lasted until the interest on the loans forced my little town in to bankruptcy.

I learned one very important lesson from Sim City 2000: do not take out loans. I don't know if the game designer was trying to teach a financial lesson, but it was impossible to pay off a loan once it was taken out. Through classical conditioning, my pre-pubescent brain associated loans with very bad things happening. I pulled every trick in the book to get through my undergrad with no loans, and it greatly pained me to take them out for my M.A.

I don't really know the point of this entry. With so many people in so much debt, maybe we could use a little more Sim City 2000 in our lives?

5 Responses to “Sim City and Loans”

  1. sounderella Says:

    I always knew the code you could type in to give yourself extra money for free so I could have the bad mamma jamma city. Sad...I think that's where I went wrong.

  2. Ima saver Says:

    Never heard of it, but I am pretty down on loans. I had my house paid off when I hit age 32 and will only borrow for a new car.(Those that know me, know why I will borrow for a new car, it is hubby's passion. If the car is paid off, he will want a newer car)

  3. Broken Arrow Says:

    Ooh, I loved Sim City! I started with an earlier version, but 2000 was BY FAR my favorite!

    And yes, I spent most of my time trying to figure out how to build the most profitable city possible. Big Grin I learned that bigger isn't always better.

    Oh, and I definitely did not take out loans either. It was a great way to lose money. Even though it's a game, I think that's a great lesson to apply in real life too. (I also don't believe in trading on margin.)

  4. koppur Says:

    Never paid Sim City, but I am addicted to The Sims. Smile

  5. Petunia Says:

    Have never played it myself, but many things can be learned by playing games. Sounds like you (and BA) learned a lot.

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