The game "can help customers, business partners and students discover how to make cities and their industries smarter by solving real-world business, environmental and logistical problems," according to IBM. Quite a claim.
The game objective is to pass through a series of SimCity style challenges in your city, addressing energy, water, financing and so on. IBM gives one example of the sort of issue a player might face.
"(O)ne mission involves a city where water usage has increased at twice the rate of population growth, supplies are becoming strained (and possibly polluted); the municipality is losing as much as 40 percent of its water supply through leaky infrastructure; and energy costs are steadily increasing. To complete this mission, the player would be challenged to institute a Water Management System that would include accurate real time data to make decisions on delivering the highest water quality in the most economical way."
The company has used gaming before in an attempt to give its customers a leg-up, especially in mastering business processes. It points out the utility in game-style training in the military and athletics. The dynamic and immersive nature of gaming has long been appealing to educators. The association of through-play satisfaction with IBM could not hurt either, presumably.
Bottom photo from Fotosaula