A new online game, Streetmix, (streetmix.net) can help you imagine an alternative street design in your hometown, and it s as addictive as any first-person shooter. (Streetmix.net)

Build your own virtual city with this addictive new game

Sometimes we become so accustomed to our surroundings that we just accept the status quo, no matter how terrible.

Street design is a good example. The streets of Dallas, for example, are a prime example: Too often they’re dangerous, unfriendly and just plain ugly. Crossing one of our high-speed avenues on foot can be like playing the old arcade game Frogger, but with real life-or-death stakes.

But a new online game, Streetmix, (streetmix.net) can help you imagine a better alternative, and it’s as addictive as any first-person shooter. The program makes you a transportation planner, with the power to design a street — make one up or pick your own. Bike lanes, wide sidewalks, two-way traffic? Add them all. Building a virtual Dallas is fun, and it just might help us shake the idea that we’re stuck with what we’re stuck with.

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