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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