My Home Town, Simulated

At work today, I listened to Squirrel’s YouTube play through of the Washington DLC for American Truck Simulator.

Squirrel is an Englishman who says he has never been to Washington. So, he should be forgiven for mispronouncing just about every city in the eastern part of the state.

Still, I kind of felt sorry for him as he based his first “visit” to my home state on this simulation.

I don’t mean to criticize the game. It’s a truck driving simulator, not a geography lesson. It contains the elements that are important to driving a truck: freeways, highways, and industrial areas. The rest is really just background scenery. That’s all it really needs.

Still, it was interesting to see my home town, simulated.

Because it’s just a game, it condenses areas between cities. In reality, it takes a minimum of three hours to drive from Portland, Oregon to Seattle, Washington. But who wants to play a computer game for three hours? Squirrel was able to drive a truck from Simulated Portland to Simulated Bellingham, with scenic detours, in two 40 minute videos.

Still, it was rather amusing to see Squirrel drive from Portland to Olympia in about 15 minutes. From Olympic to Tacoma was a five minute drive on the freeway. According to the game, nothing exists between Downtown Seattle and Everett’s city center. The University District, Northgate, Shoreline, Lynnwood, I-405 – none of these places exist in American Truck Simulator. Past Lake Union is a sign saying Everett City Center is half a mile away.

Also, Everett doesn’t have a downtown. It’s just a few shops, houses, and places to load and unload a truck.

But the game does an excellent job of getting the look of a city right.

Simulated Seattle
Passing under Simulated Freeway Park

I probably wouldn’t have guessed this next screen shot is Everett, but knowing that it’s supposed to be, it does kind of look like it.

Crossing Simulated Broadway in Simulated Everett

American Truck Simulator and Euro Truck Simulator are not games I think I would enjoy playing, but they are fun to listen to while I work, especially when Squirrel is playing them.

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