A pretty interesting article on how sandbox games can be educational.
"Computer games aren't just games anymore. They're learning experiences.
Video and computer games get a bad rap. Non-gamers think they're a waste of time and energy. But there is a real-world opportunity here: an opportunity to leverage games as tools to educate, inform, and explore planning ideas. Games do educate and change minds, and the more excited and engaged planners become about games, the better planning games could become."