Nate Berg is a freelance reporter and a former staff writer for CityLab. He lives in Los Angeles.
Get behind the driver's seat to experience the exciting world of street sweeping firsthand.
Simulator video games give us, the regulars of the world, an opportunity to see into and understand professional worlds we're unlikely to know in real life. Flight simulators put us in the cockpit of fighter jets. SimCity turn gamers into Robert Moses. And so on.
Add to that list Street Cleaning Simulator 2011.
The game – known as Kehrmaschinen-Simulator 2011 in its homeland of Germany – puts the player behind the wheel of a street cleaning truck and promptly serves some of the dirtiest gutters and asphalt surfaces a city could provide.
Sadly, racing your sweeper at high speeds is not an option. What you can do is drive slowly, move the sweeping apparatus in a wide variety of ways, and – like a good street sweeper must – keep the streets clean. You can also get intimately familiar with the more mundane aspects of the street sweeping profession, from filling up the water tanks to turning on the truck's various lights to checking your email.
Behold, the exciting world of street sweeping:
Overall, the game provides what it promises: the player gets to clean city streets. How appealing that is depends on your personality.
"They say war games teach kids how to use guns and kill people and be violent; I don't really believe in that," one reviewer notes. "But if you do, maybe you should feed your kid some street sweeping games so he can get ready for his future job."
Image courtesy YouTube user Xenokillaoftaw