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OLPC laptops to get free EA Simcity game

It looks as if the OLPC is on track to become like Dell laptops - bloated with trialware, obsolete software and time-limited demos.

Nine months after it was originally leaked out, EA (opens in new tab) has announced that they will install the 1989 version of Simcity on every one laptop per child machine.

OLPC runs Linux so it means that EA has possibly developed a Linux, open sourced version of Simcity.

Before prospective OLPC owners get all excited, have a look at the graphics over here. (opens in new tab) One has to wonder why EA gave this game for free - they could have given a free access to the online version of Simcity 4 here. (opens in new tab)

As Gizmodo (opens in new tab) and the Inquirer (opens in new tab) point out to, there's no real reason why a game that is so remotely connected to the everyday lives of the people who will use the laptop has been installed on it.

Simcity, as its names implies, is a simulation (opens in new tab) and city-building personal computer game that is nearly two decades old and many of the children that will handle the laptops do not even know what a city is let alone one used in the simulation.

However, it might end up as being a smart move from the manufacturers in the very long run. SimCity is all about managing scarce resources - something that third world citizens know all too well and it will introduce them to a concept that is alien to many of them: Democracy.

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.