Play Run That Town, an iPhone game by the Australian Bureau of Statistics

Use real census data in Australia's answer to SimCity

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has released an iOS game.


Entitled Run That Town, the game uses real census data for each postcode in Australia, tasking you with making decisions based on that data. Popular decisions will reward you with influence points, whereas unpopular decisions will remove them.

As with real world politics however, the correlation between sensible decisions and whether they will accrue you influence points is not always neat. The game presents a series of decisions - usually development proposals - along with the opinions of those for and against them. You'll need to consult the census data in order to determine which opinion is more worthy of your attention.

I selected postcode 2865: a small regional NSW town called Manildra with a high senior citizen population. Most people in Manildra own their own homes and are employed full time, however the population is below 800. As a result, when a development application for a stadium is filed, it's sensible based on the data to reject it.

Be careful though, because the vocal minority will chip away at your influence points, even if you think it's obvious that you've made the right decision. Despite it being obvious that Manildra doesn't need a stadium, those in favour of it tore strips off me. I'm still reeling.

The game is surprisingly deep, and it's also free. Check it out now, or watch the trailer below.

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