There are two very big no-nos when you come to write at InsideEVs.
And everyone who has hit 'submit for publishing' here knows them:
- Only report on plug-in electric cars - all other cars are dead to us. Sure a bi-weekly rehashing of what a Toyota Prius can do; first as a 'review,' then as a 'report,' then as a 'guidebook', etc. would net some serious search engine hits...but we don't care. All plug-ins, all the time. And if that means a report on the 2013 Mitsubishi i-MiEV that isn't coming to the US that is only read by 500 people, so be it.
- Never, ever, write about charging station installations in Portland - no one cares about the 17th fast charging station installed in Portland, Oregon...or anywhere else for that matter, so don't write about them. That, and we just really hate Portland; we have it on good authority residents there have poor hygiene and often die of dysentery.
If You Are Over 30 And Under 55, You Probably Recognize This Screenshot
For those of you who didn't own or operate a computer between 1978 and 1995, the above mention of the unclean people of Portland, is in reference to a famous Internet meme from one of the original pioneers of computer gaming, Oregon Trail, and is my own way of bringing the topic back around to what I am about to do.
Break sacred rule #2.
Nissan has installed their very first charging station...online. In SimCity.
Product placement FTW (which means 'for the win' for the non-gamer/texters/under-rock dwellers out there).
It comes as a DLC (downloadable content) to the game, and once installed, it is quite hard to miss, as advertisements about the Nissan LEAF abound, complete with miniature, animated EVs zipping around everywhere. (video below)
Apparently, the add on is quite a coup for players of the game as it is one of the "best buildings in the game, stat-wise. It increases happiness in surrounding buildings, and doesn’t use any power, water or workers. It’s also pollution free, producing no garbage or sewage," according to a report by Forbes on the structure.
"...the Charging Station provides happiness to the Sims that use it and a onetime wave of happiness to the nearby businesses"
Past it's in-game value, the review is fairly scathing about what the Nissan LEAF charging station might mean to the future of gaming:
I get that they’re trying to play up the whole “environmental benefit” angle, but this is a bit ridiculous. A building that uses no power, water or people to operate, and produces no waste? No to mention it just spews happiness onto anything near it. This isn’t a building, it’s a magical artifact we should be sending teams to scientists to study.
Even if it’s free, this is sort of a weird precedent to set, giving sponsored items special treatment. Will we see a Burger King where the food is free? How about a GAP outlet store that clears up traffic jams? An H&R Block that makes Sims stop griping about taxes?
I’m not opposed to inserting real life brands into games as a form of organic advertisement, especially ones where they could easily fit naturally like SimCity. But giving them superpowers as a marketing trick is BS, and in this case pretending an electric car fueling station doesn’t require any resources whatsoever and makes everyone who looks at it happy is just silly.
SimLEAF For SimCity
If you happen to play SimCity, the app can be downloaded for the game here, and the official press notes on it reads as follows:
"The Nissan LEAF® item is the Nissan LEAF® Charging Station. The Charging Station will be a new destination in player’s cities where their Sims will drive their Nissan LEAF® cars in order to re-charge them. Once they leave the Sims will find themselves happier."
I wish I could could take credit for finding this little bit of light-hearted amusement, but I hung up my gaming boots a long time ago.
Credit to Smidge205 at mynissanleaf.com.
Check out the SimCity Nissan LEAF charging station in action: