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Tri Rismaharini: The Mayor From Indonesia Whose Hobby is to Play Games

By Muhammad Bilal Syahrir

“Game can be a good hobby if steered the right way.” Those are the words that came out of Tri Rismaharini, Surabaya’s current mayor back in 2013.


Surabaya is one of Indonesia’s biggest cities. It is located in the East of Java Island. The city is also lead by a mayor named Tri Rismaharani. Truth to be told, she is a gamer.

When opening Surabaya Animation and Game Expo (SAGE) event way back in 2103, she said: “Game can be a good hobby if steered the right way.” In her speech, she also motivated the attendees who are mostly the young generation to learn through the games they play.

If we look at her history, Risma has played a lot of games. One of the most memorable games she played was SimCity. When becoming a speaker at Popcon Asia 2015, she said the game made her learn to organize a city.

Tri Rismaharini

SimCity back in 1989.

Yes, how she controls the people in her city, the tourism, and the resources may well be from playing SimCity. She also said that SimCity makes her think comprehensively. By being comprehensive, she can focus on all sectors.

“There are some cases where citizens will protest in the game,” said Risma. “It actually made me think what the source of the problem is. And like I said, you have to think comprehensively.”

If you never played SimCity, it is truly a city simulation game that is considered legendary. Some also may say that it has revolutionized the simulation game that we see nowadays. The game itself was designed by Will Wright in 1989.

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Tri Rismaharini is one example of an Indonesian icon that we highlight. The reason is that not many people, especially in the political sector, would publicly say that they are a gamer. So hopefully she can inspire other people to not worry about playing games.

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My main mission: Making Indonesian Game Industry big!