Civilization has always been an exciting topic.
Learning the culture, society and way of life of a particular area is indeed a pleasant experience. It’s interesting to know how we have turned from primitive human being to civilized people. Learning is one thing, but how about having the first-hand experience of doing so? Would you believe me If I say you can build your own empire or civilization through a video game?
Yes, you have read it right. If you want to have an immersion in building civilization, play a strategy game called “Civilization”. Created by Sid Meier and Bruce Shelley for MicroProse in 1991, the main objective of this game is to “Build an empire to stand the test of time”. Civilization takes you back to 4000 BC and your role as a player is to attempt to expand and develop your empire through the ages from the ancient era until modern and near-future times.
If you aren’t sold of this game, below are some of the reasons that should convince you why playing Civilization for hours is worthy of your time and effort.
It is a Global Learning Experience
This game is a global learning experience in two ways. First, you get to acquire tidbits of information regarding arts, science, culture and history. Second, you get to know different historical characters and unique cultures all over the world. You get to know more the world that you live in without even stepping out of your house.
Let’s admit it; learning could sometimes be a bore. This game adds f-u-n to the learning experience. Voiceovers from renowned personalities such as Morgan Sheppard and Leonard Nimoy are featured in this game.
What’s even admirable about this game is that it’s been used by several academic institutions as their teaching tool in the classroom. This just proves that Civilization has a strong potential capability to educate. While many are contesting on the efficacy of these implementations, the series encourages students to do their own research about different civilization topics. If you’ve never heard of modern production methods, the technology trees featured at the end stage of this game will surely spark your interest on this subject.
Experience Building an Empire without the Stress
I can imagine how hard it must be for politicians to build an empire of community. It must be stressful to keep the community in order given that the residences have different type of personality and behavior. Civilization lets you experience the joy of building your own empire, albeit without the accompanying stress.
There is no doubt that empire-building games are indeed enjoyable and addictive. The lack of fast reflexes though is one of the reasons why some gamers don’t feel the same enthusiasm. In Real Time Strategy (RTS) games, the demand for “clicking and dragging” and being super-fast with your keyboard can be overwhelming. Your empire won’t even make it beyond the pre-historical era if you don’t have this skill.
Civilization is a different story. Since it is turn-based, you won’t need much of your reflexes. You can take as much of your precious time as possible to fiddle, contemplate and research before making a decision. Excellent strategic planning requires more time and deliberation and not how fast you can click and drag.
It Gives You a Taste of Real-World Grim Realities
This might scare off some gamers. After all, we play games to somehow escape from our real world and be transported to a world full of entertainment and adventure.
Yet, you will have far more memorable gaming experience if there is a right balance of fantasy and reality. Civilization got this balance right as the fantasy side of the game is somehow closer to the reality. These realities are presented in the form of diplomacy challenges and unhappiness. As the population grows, cities are suffering from increasing unhappiness. Each stage of the game presents a challenge to maintain the increasing population for economic and defense purposes, while doing everything possible to keep the citizens contented.
You must also handle diplomacy challenges well if you want to win the game. These challenges could be presented in the most unexpected moments. For example, a war can be suddenly declared by a total stranger. Your ally neighbor might turn against you because he was bribed.
These real-world crises could upset some gamers. However, you must understand that human race is very complex. This game does not only open your eyes to these complexities but it also teaches you to be strategic and patient.
It Features an Epic Music
Civilization is famous for its soundtrack. If you’re into classical or ethnic music, your ears would surely experience a “soundgasm”.
You will hear classical masterpieces by Brahms, Mozart and Dvořák in Civilization IV. These masterpieces accompanied the Industrial Age and Renaissance segments of the game. A more ethnic approach was chosen in Civilization V.
Playing this game will take you into an immersion experience in the world of music. Music lovers would feel that they are in a world festival, with different masterpieces serenading your soul
There is a Huge, Active Community of Mods
Some gamers would measure the worth of a game by the number of mods written by fans for it. With Sid Meier’s Civilization, you can find literally hundreds of mods written on different platforms. Many of these are even expertly and elaborately scripted. The list could include additional civilizations, additional leaders, tech-trees, new battle units, wonders and improvements and so on.
Having a huge, active community of mods empowers incredible variety of playing the game. Just imagine, how many ways can you play the games with hundreds of leaders, each with unique personalities, weaknesses and strengths?
And who says you can’t even make your own mods too? As long as you have the necessary skills, you can add your favorite world leader to the list and see how he would fare against other leaders. Every session has endless ways of becoming unpredictable and unique. This alone is more than enough reason for you to start playing this game.
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