IBM has introduced a "serious game" designed to help companies solve their "real-world" business, environmental and logistical problems.
Big Blue describes CityOne as a no charge, "sim-style" game in which the aspiring player is tasked with guiding the virtual city through a series of missions that include the energy, water, banking and retail industries.
For example, one scenario involves a city where water usage has increased at twice the rate of population growth, supplies are becoming strained (and possibly polluted); the municipality is losing as much as 40 percent of its water supply through leaky infrastructure; and energy costs are steadily increasing.
To complete the difficult mission, the player is challenged to institute a Water Management System that includes accurate real time data to help make decisions on delivering the highest water quality in the most economical way.
"Players who promote a more customer-centric business model to the banks represented in their city will discover how mobile payments, dynamic invoicing, and micro-lending can impact business goals," explained Nancy Pearson, an IBM VP.
"In all of the missions represented in the game, the player will need to determine the best way to invest to meet the financial, environmental and sociological goals of the city's industries while balancing their budgets and the needs of the citizenry. In parallel, players will learn how the components of service reuse, process management, cloud and collaborative technologies make business models more agile."
She added that serious games such as CityOne allow professionals to "inherently comprehend" complex system interactions and accurately model potential business outcomes.
"CityOne will simulate the challenges faced in a variety of industries so that businesses can explore a variety of solutions and explore the business impact before committing resources," said Pearson.