Civilization V

By Firaxis Games

Genre: Turn-based Strategy, Historical

Interest Level: 9th-12th grade +

Awards: BAFTA Games Award

Teaser: Want to be the leader of your own civilization? Explore, battle, and create your way to victory!

Summary: Civilization V is a game where the player leads his civilization from its beginning to its end. The game starts in prehistoric times and works its way up into the future. This is a strategy game that is turn-based which means that the player can only do a certain amount of things each “turn” before it is the other player’s turn. There are several strategies for winning the game which include expanding one’s territory, battling the enemy, and developing economic sources. The map is procedurally generated and there are layers of artificial intelligence that assist in keeping the game unpredictable.

Information about the Developer: According to Wikipedia, “Firaxis Games, Inc. is an American video game developer founded in 1996 by Sid Meier, Jeff Briggs, and Brian Reynolds upon leaving MicroProse. Now a wholly owned subsidiary of Take-Two Interactive, the company is best known for its Civilization series of games, though it has had notable success with other titles as well. Firaxis is based in Sparks, Maryland; Sid Meier continues to lead creative efforts there.”

Critical Evaluation:  This version of Civilization is ramped up! The game has beautiful graphics and epic game play. Teens and children can learn several things from playing this game. They have the chance to develop their strategy skills and see a gradual progression of a civilization. The game might not portray actual events of history, but players are exposed to historical words and weapons, and other time period related topics.The artificial intelligence will ensure that players will be exposed to a new challenge every time they play.

Curriculum Ties: N/A

Booktalk Ideas: N/A

Challenge Issues: Playing video games in the library

Challenge Resources: Rationale for choosing this book (see “Why Did I Pick This”), Engage students and parents in discussions about intellectual freedom, ALA Library Bill of Rights,Challenge Resources from the American Library Association

Why Did I Pick This: I picked this game because I think that it is an easy game to figure out, but enough of it is procedurally generated that it still makes the game challenging. There are ways to challenge children without taking away the fun. Players learn so much from this game whether it is terms of warfare, terms about a different time period, or how to strategize to meet a certain goal.  

Shirk, D., Miller, L. (2010). Civilization V.  Maryland: Firaxis.

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