Award: REGIONAL PR AWARDS \ CA03. Japan/Korea PR Campaign of the Year

Like many communities across Japan, the provincial city of Kobayashi faces numerous issues relating to depopulation and brain drain, earning the unwanted label of a “city at risk of disappearing.” Game developer Electronic Arts teamed up with the local government to launch a groundbreaking educational initiative based around the popular gaming app SimCity BuildIt. To develop young people’s interest and engagement in community development, the app was incorporated into lessons for local high school students, who, along with city officials, were made members of a new government department, the Kobayashi City Department of SimCity BuildIt. Their task was to create an ideal future version of the city within the game, and present the end results at a special city meeting. As well as boosting cross-generational community spirit, the project gained widespread media attention, with towns around the country hoping to leverage SimCity BuildIt in local revitalization.