Nissan has rolled out several more public charging stations to support Leaf electric car drivers in their travels. Sounds great, but these stations require a vivid imagination and Internet access – since they're only available to SimCity gamers.

On April 2, the "Nissan Leaf Charging Station" was made available as free downloadable content (DLC) for SimCity users, who can charge their fake EVs for the next six months. Of course, part of the deal is being advertised to for half a year. The whole thing is a marketing ploy for Nissan.

This is not the first time video games have been used as virtual marketing venues by auto companies. The idea behind the Leaf DLC is that you live in your virtual SimCity and find creative ways to build revenue streams. The charging stations are new destinations in your city where your Sims community can drive Nissan Leafs, recharge and get happy. It's all green – the pixels create no in-game garbage or sewage – and it somehow magically uses no power, so no need to worry about dirty coal powering your Leaf. Nonetheless, initial response has been, well, somewhat negative.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 1 Year Ago
      Crap like takes the fun out of video games. This is just another on top of the huge pile of mistakes EA has made with sim city.
        • 1 Year Ago
        Yeah, as a videogamer . . . they screwed it up. AI problems, massive DRM disaster, denial of the problems, etc. At least they offered people a free game in response to the DRM mess. But EA has really been on a downhill slope lately.
      • 1 Year Ago
      The iPad version of SimCity had Toyota Priuses available as free cars. Generic cars cost money, so all my characters got Priuses.
      • 1 Year Ago
      This just reminded me how awful the name 'Leaf' is. That name kinda stigmatizes the brand as something for a tree-hugging hippie only. Chevy did a much better job with the Volt name.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Wow what a way to try and push these "vehicles" on people that don't want them! No need for them!
      • 1 Year Ago
      The perfect place for this vehicle. A Liberal Fantasy life, with fake interactions substituted for real life experiences.
        • 1 Year Ago
        Actually, silicon valley (where EA is based) is getting filled with electric cars. You can't drive on 101 during rush hour without seeing the carpool lane filled with Leafs, Model S, Volts, and other EVs. The EVs are very cheap to fuel, clean, quiet, vibration free, have good acceleration, and can be fueled by putting PV panels up on your roof! What's not to like?
          • 1 Year Ago
          Also, here in Silicon Valley, we BUILD your reality. When right-wing losers in flyover states spend their last paycheck on a smartphone or tablet, they help build our 'liberal fantasyland' so for us it is reality. Also, we have healthier sex lives. :-P

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