We have a long history of computer games being multi-disciplinary by this time, at least in subject matter. For marketing purposes, if writing for the education market, it pays to define your niche: is this science (chemistry? physics?), math (linear equations, differential equations?) or what?
With the advent of STEM as an acronym, it gets easier to not have to subcategorize. True, we don't have states coming up with "integrated standards", but that just leaves more room for the simulations providers to use their imaginations.
To this end, I've been haunting some local Portland circuits in search of "weapons inspector" game programmers, as here we're finding the somewhat ideal mix of GIS/GPS, real world relevance (not just fantasy notions, per Spores), and a lot of excuses for side trips into the various disciplines, such as particle physics (half-life, beta decay, gamma decay, neutron damping, heavy water...) and forensics (document forgery, authentication of sources, cross-checking accounts).
The idea is to storyboard several versions, with a low key board of advisers drawn from all walks of life. The graphic novel and underground comic versions might be included in preview form in such e-rags as GeekOut!, which has come out twice so far. You have Scott Ritter to draw on, as an action figure, and Valarie Plame Wilson, who shows up more recently in 'Countdown to Zero' ( http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1572769/ ). The "control room" behind any given "away team" (multi-user version) is a rich source of relevant data. You'll want to study your maps.
The other simulation I've been talking about a lot on this list has had to do with energy grids. You need a zoomed-in and zoomed-out view, corresponding to "microeconomics" and "macroeconomics" respectively. On the one hand, your goal is to be energy efficient in your household or place of business. Using electricity on an industrial scale, versus simply running home appliances, will be modeled in some packages. On the other hand, you'll want to see the grid more as your energy supply sources see it, as an interconnecting infrastructure that takes power from several sources while responding to peaks and troughs in demand. When a heat wave goes through, you're looking at lots of air conditioning. If you over-tax your circuits, rolling brown-outs may be the result (we had those in the Philippines a lot, back when ENRON was taking over).
Obviously it'd make sense to simulate other energy grids besides the electrical one. When a cold snap hits, that takes you more to your heating oil and natural gas grid simulations, although many use base-board. Think about coal, think about nuclear. Yes, it's a lot like SimCity, but with more attention to detail and to actual grid-scapes. It's not so fictional, when you get to MIT, and start looking at the actual infrastructure. Is it wise to allow hydrofracturing in the "cosmopolis" watershed? I'm talking about the largest unfiltered water supply to some of the world's largest urban areas: New York; Philadelphia - -- all drawing their drinking water from where the Hudson begins.
So where will these games come from and will students be allowed to play them? The largest public educator in the land, the military, already has its games going, with large and loyal followings. The civilians have been slow to keep pace, admittedly. You'd think we already be there. Why so retarded? Well, keep in mind that "smart meters" are new and the private sector is squeamish about sharing data in the clear. Not only do you need to protect customer confidentiality, but you need to not divulge too much to the competition about market share. Business is all about keeping secrets. So the realism we're seeking, in wanting to model the actual grids, is not easy to come by. The military gets away with its recruiting games by admitting up front that their purely fictional. The actual data is all bottled up, only gets out through leaking and/or official declassification (a bottleneck, worse than Von Neumann's).
However, at the high school level we're maybe not that particular. Go ahead and conceal the actual water flow numbers, twixt Bull Run, the sacred watershed (consecrated by Teddy Roosevelt) and Mt. Tabor reservoirs, via aqueduct. Add realism as the grad students get closer to working for the city. Or, if you're in a high school that allows early college enrollment, maybe find a course at PSU that taps you into the relevant data sets, and help us get this game going. Consider tapping Ecotrust for some funding? The day should be not far away when every city is allowed to be introspective about its own water supply, without fear.
I'll continue getting the word out there, about our curriculum requirements. Universities finding a demand for "weapons inspector" as a career path need to come up with something. Perhaps MIT will wanna help out. I should mine my OLPC connections and see what I come up with. As a state, we've been big fans of Stella, running tournaments through OMSI, with support from Software Associate on Oregon. Stella is simulation software, though an earlier generation by now. Patrick Barton of Portland Energy Strategies has been one of those backing the simulations approach. Keith Devlin gets more press though, maybe because he's more purely mathematical than STEM (the idea of STEM as an integrated subject is still somewhat new).
I have a meeting with First Person Physics guru, Dr. Bob Fuller emeritus (University of Nebraska @ Lincoln), 4:30 PM. We'll talk about a lot of this I'm sure. There's a Python angle (for the programming side).