Warning: New SimCity will take over your life

If you’re one of those who found the old SimCity video game addictive, brace yourself.

Yes, the latest version of everyone’s favorite city-building simulation game, set to hit in February of 2013, is likely to take over your life. 

That’s because it’s now a multiplayer game that will challenge you to take on serious urban planning challenges like pollution, renewable energy, regional cooperation and even sewage. (But don’t worry — you can still destroy your beloved metropolis with an asteroid).

As per the old SimCity, you can still lay down roads, adjust zoning and taxation and install nuclear power plants, among other things. 

But according to Fast Co.Exist’s Ariel Scwhartz, who had a chance to play a demo of the new multi-platform game by Maxis, the new SimCity allows players to share resources with their friends’ cities, and do some damage to them as well.

Say you sell coal to your friend’s city, which lacks industry — should your friend neglect to install proper sewage systems, coal-dirtied water will travel downstream, making residents of your city sick.

Of course, if your own city goes for the cheaper sewage outflow pipe, sewage will collect in a single spot, eventually enveloping the surrounding area in brown. Which, you know, probably won’t do much for local real estate prices.

From renewable energy NIMBYism to mass transit, environmental degradation to education, the new SimCity has a whole lot going on that the residents of your former simulated cities couldn’t even begin to imagine. 

And with the new version of the game, the hypothetical residents of your hypothetical city will feel a whole lot more real, as individuals even have names, and can be viewed going about their business via the street view function.

Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

* Susan DeFreitas, EarthTechling