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Seoul is beautiful to fly over at night. This is an entirely unsurprising observation.

What’s a little less obvious until you’ve actually seen for yourself is that whoever’s in charge is clearly a huge fan of SimCity. It’s a big, successful city, so there’s no question that they’re good at it. Still, it also shows some of the limitations of the engine: vast stretches of perfectly identical apartment buildings, with perfectly identical parking lots, tiled out for miles. There are stoplights at every intersection, regardless of their utility in helping traffic flow effectively. Even the terrain seems pulled straight from the game: vast swaths of perfectly flat ground interrupted by hills too steep for anything except trees and the occasional monument at the crest.

Will Wright’s games are notable, among other things, for including very user-friendly tools which can be used to rough out basic ideas for complex things like architecture, ecosystems, creatures, and urban planning. Until now, however, I’d never expected to see anything pulled directly from the game and implemented in reality exactly as it appeared in the simulation.

Now that I’ve seen it, it’s still hard to believe, but the evidence is hard to dispute.

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