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Last Updated: Thursday, 21 April, 2005, 12:24 GMT 13:24 UK
School creates its own Sim City
Sim City computer game
The Medway version includes the river, castle and cathedral
A group of schoolchildren are learning about urban planning issues with the help of a specially-adapted version of a computer game.

Fair View Junior School, in Gillingham, Kent, teamed up with the makers of Sim City, which lets users play around with computer-generated cities.

A special Medway version was created to include recognisable local landmarks.

Children use the game to learn about environmental and transport issues while redesigning their home town.

The education-by-computer-game is part of a Medway Children's University course called Design A Town.

The four-day courses have been run at Medway schools since 1998.

'Exciting development'

Teresa Murphy, manager of Medway Children's University, said the results of adapting Sim City for Gillingham, Chatham and Rochester have been excellent.

"We wanted to see if it is feasible to use games software in schools for purposeful learning.

"This could be a tremendously exciting development for all Medway's schools."

The software development also involved Medway Council and University of Greenwich geography student Matt Chinn.

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