Geoffrey Lawrence

After reading this enlightening critique of the computer game “Caesar III” by Mattheus von Guttenberg today, I have decided that I should (note: “should” is not necessarily synonomous with “will”) create my own video game.

Now, I have no familiarity with “Caesar III” or any of the newer simulation video games that endow the player with absolute power over a society of people, but it sounds remarkably similar to a game that I played once many years ago: SimCity.

Games like this are immediately frustrating. The player, tasked with building a growing and thriving city, is obligated to raise taxes in order to finance the construction of EVERY SINGLE DEVELOPMENT in the city. I remember playing SimCity many years ago and thinking, “These must be the laziest people on the planet! Why is it that there is no private construction going on at all in this city?”

After reading Guttenberg’s review today, I can see that this genre of games still fails to incorporate the one fundamental component that drives economic advancement the world over: entrepreneurship. In fact, every “SimPerson” in these games is no more than a slave – going to and fro at the behest of the absolute ruler.

So my new game idea would be titled “SimCapitalism.” This would be a new addition to the simulation genre that would allow for much easier gameplay. In fact, the player’s only task would be to sit back and watch the city build itself!

It’s amazing that the world’s autocrats-in-training took the personal initiative to: (1) acquire a job to earn money; and (2) go to the store and purchase a game that would satisfy their highest utility. Yet, they completely fail to recognize the role that markets should play in that game.

But then, since they have no choice in schools, what else do you expect?

Geoffrey Lawrence

Geoffrey Lawrence

Director of Research

Geoffrey Lawrence is director of research at Nevada Policy.

Lawrence has broad experience as a financial executive in the public and private sectors and as a think tank analyst. Lawrence has been Chief Financial Officer of several growth-stage and publicly traded manufacturing companies and managed all financial reporting, internal control, and external compliance efforts with regulatory agencies including the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.  Lawrence has also served as the senior appointee to the Nevada State Controller’s Office, where he oversaw the state’s external financial reporting, covering nearly $10 billion in annual transactions. During each year of Lawrence’s tenure, the state received the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting Award from the Government Finance Officers’ Association.

From 2008 to 2014, Lawrence was director of research and legislative affairs at Nevada Policy and helped the institute develop its platform of ideas to advance and defend a free society.  Lawrence has also written for the Cato Institute and the Heritage Foundation, with particular expertise in state budgets and labor economics.  He was delighted at the opportunity to return to Nevada Policy in 2022 while concurrently serving as research director at the Reason Foundation.

Lawrence holds an M.A. in international economics from American University in Washington, D.C., an M.S. and a B.S. in accounting from Western Governors University, and a B.A. in international relations from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.  He lives in Las Vegas with his beautiful wife, Jenna, and their two kids, Carson Hayek and Sage Aynne.