AT&T Tech Channel

About this video

Back in 1975, AT&T contracted a simulation games company, Simile II, to create a game about how to run a phone company. The game was called New City Telephone Company (game box pictured at far left). The game's goal was to teach how to make measured decisions in a business setting, and how to work together. It involved an entire classroom of students; this short film's goal was to sell teachers on the idea of using it as an educational tool.

Simile II, as a company, had other interesting games in its roster. The company released games that tried to teach resolutions and experiences of social disparities like Starpower and Bafa Bafa. Some of these games, by reputation, would erupt into simulated social conflict that might—or might not—get resolved within the game. The company is still in business, though now as Simulation Training Systems.

Though not the only educational initiative produced by the Bell System for high school students, it may have been the only actual simulation game. Other projects, past and future, usually involved science and math education, whereas New City Telephone Company cultivated more basic skills like discussion, listening, decision making, note taking, and goal setting.

Footage Courtesy of AT&T Archives and History Center, Warren, NJ

Release date: 07/11/2012

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