📜 ⬆️ ⬇️

Magnasanti - the largest and most terrible city of SimCity

It looks like a set of colored squares without meaning and purpose? In fact, behind this picture - an evil genius and a lot of formulas.

This is a view of Magnasanti - a metropolis whose creator tried to reach the population limit in the SimCity game.

Let's take a closer look:

Vincent Oscala, a 22-year-old student from the Philippines and future architect, has been trying for years to find a formula for success in Sim City 3000.

A seemingly insane idea ... however, thanks to the tremendous efforts invested in the "struggle" with SimCity, interesting questions were raised about the urban landscapes in which we live and what horror they can turn into.

After scrupulous planning and a large amount of trial and error, Vincent managed to build a city of more than six million people.

Moreover, the city turned out to be surprisingly stable, there were no abandoned buildings and unused space. There were no roads - only public transport. Omniscient police destroyed all the crime in the city. Magnasanti’s water and energy needs are met by neighboring cities, which allows for the removal of a significant part of the relevant infrastructure.

Transferred to Alconost

From the point of view, SimCity is a masterpiece.

But if you imagine yourself in the place of residents, it is rather a dreadful dystopia.

High unemployment, horrific air pollution, almost no education, medical and fire services are absent, and residents do not live to retirement age. The police state made it possible to maximize the size of the city, while retaining full control over the citizens - but it minimized the quality of life and effectively destroyed free will.

Born in Magnasanti, he spends his life working and living in a small but very efficient stretch of space, and dies at the age of about 50 years.

The following video explains some aspects of working on Magnasanti, including two small towns that served as prototypes for the final version:

As you can guess from the soundtrack, Oskal was greatly influenced by the film “ Koyaaniskatsi ”, or “Life Disordered,” directed by Godfrey Reggio with music by Philip Glass.

Using only the music and visual series of “Koyaaniskatsi”, it examines and studies the contrasts between the forms and pace of movement in nature and modern human life. In fact, the film puts us before the fact that the life of our species is out of balance with nature - good or bad.

This is a great movie - be sure to watch. Here is his teaser:

Now you can ask, what can the old version of SimCity teach us in reality, if we talk about "life unbalanced"?

Magnasanti is primarily a study to win in SimCity with the condition of maximum population.

However, it seems to me that this study raises other interesting questions.

“This film showed me the world as I had never seen it before - and fascinated me. Such cases encourage me to physically express the development of my thoughts — which I did by building these cities in SimCity 3000. Perhaps something similar — an incredible regulation of life and the cruelty of society — could be portrayed by drawing a series of paintings on canvas or making repulsive architectural models.

But it would not have turned out exactly the same as in the game: I wanted to develop the incredibly perverse aspirations of narcissistic political dictators, ruling elites, and completely insane architects, city planners, and applied sociologists. ”
- comments Oskala
The Australian Super Colossal Architecture Blog discusses some of the issues raised by Magnasanti (see here ):

This is my favorite kind of “architectural porn” - urbanization within the gaming space, used to its fullest extent. Is it possible to "beat" urbanization? Is it all urbanization? If not, can the approach used teach us something? The most important thing in this city is the complete absence of cars and the use of the metro as the main means of transportation. I suspect that this made it possible to use a place that would otherwise have been occupied by roads under a real estate - as a result, the population density has increased. And precisely such a strategy is seriously considered by many cities, including Sydney. Down with cars - long live public transport. And this seems like a sound idea.

It is interesting to look at the world in which the lack of cars is adjacent to the lack of freedom - and the first can even be a symptom of the second. Oskal built such a “stable” system that citizens were actually chained to city blocks: they can get to other parts of the city - by public transport - but they don’t need to, because life support in model blocks is ruthlessly effective.

Maybe - well, most likely - such a building is effective due to the flaws in the game engine. The Super Colossal blog concludes: “Ultimately, Magnasanti has little to do with urban planning — this city uses game mechanics to get the maximum reward.”

However, I cannot drive away the idea that Magnasanti is half the real “dark side” of centralized urban planning: as if the tools of modern building and city planning fell into the hands of a crazy despot who wanted to increase the population at any cost. Creativity, dynamism and nature itself are rejected, all efforts are devoted to improving efficiency, and religion and science are the decisive factor.

And, of course, there is no way to get away from the ubiquitous police officers, in case the unrest suddenly begins.

In an interview with Viceland, Oskala explained that Magnasanti is a “cage” in which six million “economic slaves” are enclosed. As a symbolic commentary on his creation, he used the form of the Buddhist Wheel of Being.
“From a technical point of view, no one leaves the city and does not come to the city. Population growth has stalled. Sims do not need to travel long distances: their jobs are within walking distance of the house. They, in fact, do not even need to leave the quarter, because wherever they go - the same thing is everywhere.

The illusion of order and grandeur hides many different problems in the city: extremely polluted air, high unemployment, the absence of fire stations, schools and hospitals, a regulated lifestyle - such a price Sims pay for living in the city with the highest population. To strive to live in such a city is a perverted goal.

It's funny that the Magnasanti Sims tolerate it all: they do not raise rebellions, do not make revolutions and do not create social chaos. A super-efficient police state is restraining the population, and therefore no one wants to counter the system with the help of physical means. They have disgusting health, they are all duped and enslaved, their minds are controlled well enough for this system to exist for thousands of years. To be exact - 50 000 years. They are all prisoners in space and time. ”
- says Oskala
Mammoth's blog calls Magnasanti "intentionally inhuman vision, which uses the inner logic of the game as a means of expression."

Oskala adds: “If we decide to increase profits at all costs, we will not be able to take into account social and environmental consequences.”

At the very least, this is good food for thought for future urban architects and lovers of simulation games.

About the translator

The article is translated in Alconost.

Alconost is engaged in the localization of games , applications and sites in 68 languages. Language translators, linguistic testing, cloud platform with API, continuous localization, 24/7 project managers, any formats of string resources.

We also make advertising and training videos - for websites selling, image, advertising, training, teasers, expliners, trailers for Google Play and the App Store.

Read more

Source: https://habr.com/ru/post/358180/

All Articles