Can major housing problems be solved through computer games and simulations? Some scientists believe they can, or at least provide a great testing ground for research. We’re talking about sophisticated programs that look at many different variables and run highly detailed and complex algorithms to determine the best way to undertake urban planning, including affordable housing and efficient neighborhood layouts. These programs are more complex than popular video games like SimCity, CityVille, Club Penguin or Poptropica, but they share a common component: unlike the real world, if things don’t work out you can delete and start over. This dynamic allows scientists and urban planners to take several iterative passes at their planning. And have a little fun at it, too.