Government planning

Make Your Own Metro

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Any resident of the D.C. area who's ever waited an hour for a delayed train or dragged a suitcase up the stairs because a subway escalator was broken-for months at a time-should appreciate the Mini Metro computer game, which lets you play God with Washington's transit system.

The game, designed by the New Zealand-based developer Dinosaur Polo Club, is addictively simple: New stations appear on a basic map of D.C. every few minutes. You must connect them by adding lines, carriages, and tunnels. Your Metro cars carry little people from station to station, scoring points. Coordinating this becomes progressively more difficult until you suffer the same fate as any other central planner: Your system collapses from mismanagement.

This game is a colorful, entertaining illustration of Hayekian philosophy, although the lack of broken escalators renders it just short of realistic. -Robby Soave

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  1. My favorite memory of the metro: I think Dupont Circle has the second longest escalator in the world, a pair, side-by-side.

    One time, one was broken and the other was running. Guess which was working–the DOWN escalator, of course! Apparently, no one working for WMATA was intelligent enough to reverse the direction on the damn thing and save people a few coronaries.

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