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SimCity Survival: Engineering GodZilla

SimCity Survival: Engineering GodZilla

I don’t know about you- but to me the best thing about playing SimCity is watching your city crumble when the inevitable disaster befalls it. Like building a roller-coaster without breaks in Rollercoaster Tycoon, or taking out the swimming pool ladder in the Sims– it’s a guilty pleasure; although hopefully not one shared by town planners…

The key risks posed by the legendary monster are its atomic breath (hot enough to melt steel), high radioactivity and incredible strength (particularly in the tail).

Excluding EA’s terrible DRM; the disasters I’ve heard happening to the latest SimCities are Tornadoes, Earthquakes, Meteor Strikes, UFO Encounters, Big Lizard and Zombie Attacks. There is no doubt in my mind that the apocalypse of my choice would always be the Giant Lizard, that is Godzilla.

Of course, it would only be a matter of time before the mayor of any city unlucky enough to have me as their deity proclaims that all structures be giant lizard proof. And who better to provide guidance than their civil engineers?

I would like to take this chance to apologise for my terrible drawing; If you want to see some better drawing (not mine) why not check this out?

Godzilla Proofing

Surprisingly, Wikipedia provides a startling amount of information on Godzilla. The key risks posed by the legendary monster are its atomic breath (hot enough to melt steel), high radioactivity and incredible strength (particularly in the tail).

Steel has a melting point close to 1510o; although beyond 600o there is typically not enough structural capacity left to support a building. One solution, which is already commonly employed, is to encase the steel beams within concrete. Unfortunately concrete is essentially hydrated cement with rocks in, and the residual water escaping as steam, at these super-heated temperatures, would provide enough force to blow it apart. It would therefore be essential that all structural concrete was dried, at strength- possible, but arduous. Better, would be the use of reflecting/insulating panels; although that could get expensive- Cost/Benefit analysis anyone?

Godzilla looks into a building

Just ignore him.

It’s been a while since I’ve done any physics, but radiation is probably the least concerning of all of Godzilla’s innate abilities. Two of the three types of radiation would already be absorbed by the typical thicknesses used in structural engineering- although windows may have to be replaced with higher-density polymers. Radiation doesn’t spread; and unlike a nuclear bomb Godzilla does not create a cloud of radioactive dust, therefore all our citizens need do is get indoors before he comes. The biggest concern, however, would be if our giant lizard is a source of gamma rays, which require meters of lead to even slow. Still, constructing shelters and early warning systems would not be an issue.

Godzilla balances on buildings

Stairobics for Dinosaurs

Despite what MegaStuctures would have you believe, ‘incredible’ isn’t a scientific measurement of strength. Some research show us that a slash of Gee-Z’s tail has the force to take down a building. Structures, however, are not normally braced against significant lateral force. Knowing that giant lizards are an issue, building stout, laterally stabilised structures with increased vertical capacity (to stop them being crushed) and integral roofs (to stop them being peeled off) should be enough to save the people of my cities from my inevitable loss of interest.

Of course, all of this is a tad reactionary; and it would be better if the people of my SimCity worked to contain the hazard, rather than relieving the risks. Of all the noted Anti-Godzilla weapons (which include Oxygen Destroyers, Mecha-King Ghidorah and Anti-Nuclear Energy Bacteria) only high voltage towers are readily available in real-life. These, apparently, would act as a deterrent, encouraging our giant lizard to bugger off to the next town; with the added benefit of resources to plunder in the aftermath… Progress.

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  1. raj

    Always good to read an article about Mr Zilla


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