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Is Civilization IV Beyond The Sword Educational?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by Smartbluma, Feb 4, 2009.

  1. Smartbluma

    Smartbluma Warlord

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    Is there any educational value in Civ? Are there valuable life lessons to be learned? Share your input please.
     
  2. Joshua368

    Joshua368 Warmongering builder

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    I would not say it's "educational" per se, but I have picked up and memorized a lot of various bits of trivia and history that I probably never would have learned otherwise. Things like Suryavarman II being an ancient king of Cambodia who built Angkor Wat, or that there actually was a military unit in the renaissance era that dressed in a silly hat and specialized in throwing grenades.

    As for as actual gameplay goes, there's strategy and planning involved, but nothing really more educational than say Clue or Monopoly. As far as the actual gameplay goes, it makes for a pretty crappy represenation of the real world and not something you'd want to try learning from that way.
     
  3. Sciguy001

    Sciguy001 CiV Great Scientist (duh)

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    I would say defenetly a yes. Well I guess only if you read the civiliopedia and the info on all of the game's aspects, which I tend to do a lot.
     
  4. Cashew

    Cashew Prince

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    Josh, do not learn history from civilopedia... you are bound to pick up a lot of misinformation >.<
     
  5. Sciguy001

    Sciguy001 CiV Great Scientist (duh)

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    Cashew: What do you mean? Everything I've learned from the civilopedia has been acurate so far.
     
  6. Cashew

    Cashew Prince

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    As verified by what? Civilopedia? lol.

    "I learned something in civilopedia, and I know it's true cuz it cites civilopedia as a source!"
     
  7. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    The thought process necessary to do well on high difficulties in civ keeps people sharp. As someone pointed out long ago, there aren't many shoe polishers at emperor+ or on this forum ;).
     
  8. nanomage

    nanomage Longbowman

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    definitely no educational value.
    civpedia may contain some historical information, but any printed textbook on history is much better. (if not propagandist, of course)
    Although the game makes you use your head sometimes (at least to beat it against a wall for being enough idiot to lose :) )
     
  9. PhroX

    PhroX Emperor

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    If you mean educational in terms of learning facts, it's limited. You gan get some historical knowledge from the civilopedia, but it's not that detalied. If you mean educational in terms of teaching you to think, then yes, it has plenty. :)
     
  10. Tephros

    Tephros Caffeine Junkie

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    It's more educational than most games, but not for how much time goes into it. Memorizing the whole civilopedia would probably be equivalent to a month of a world history course. But most of your time probably isn't spent looking at all of the civilopedia entries.
     
  11. Gwynnja

    Gwynnja Deity

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    Ummm, did we forget that it's a strategy game? It may not be as "educational" as sitting in an auditorium listening to some professor drone on and on about [insert subject here] but it certainly has all sorts of trivial tid bits to keep the mind active.
     
  12. Sian

    Sian Emperor

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    and its certainly more educational than your run-of-the-mill First person shooter where you store your brain on a shelf before starting
     
  13. champ82

    champ82 Immortal Ruler

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    Oh man there are things I want to say but It'd be pretty political and most likely start an argument that I really don't want to get involved in.

    Moving on...Is chess educational? Civ isn't as perfect as chess (some amount of luck is involved, and the teams are not identical) but I think you get what I'm getting at. I'm not saying Civ is on par with chess but it's closer to that than monopoly IMO.
     
  14. dirtyparrot

    dirtyparrot Upholding Brannigan's Law

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    My memory might be a bit hazy, but wasn't CIV part of some university or college course? I remember reading about it. Personally, I do pick up some things and the Civolopedia does contain some info and the game does introduce you to world leaders that you might not already know, so I think it does help in that regard. But, like someone else mentioned, the amount of knowledge gained is disproportionate to the amount of time spent playing the game.
     
  15. dr_AllCOM3

    dr_AllCOM3 Chieftain

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    for a game it's very educational.
     
  16. Stolen Rutters

    Stolen Rutters Deity

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    Educational lesson from the game: Sometimes to win, I have to do things that are not fun at the time. (I'm having fun building a space ship and I am in no mood to fight an enemy, but I was just attacked. O well, I still want to win this game... let's spend some time and destroy this enemy.)

    Educational connection to real life: I just hosted a wonderful dinner with the lady and some guests, and it's time to do the dishes. I still want to keep the lady for the long term, so let's spend some time to show my dishwasher skills and destroy the mess in the sink.

    Ok, that's all I got. I guess it's not real educational in the big picture.
     
  17. Ian Kognitow

    Ian Kognitow Deserter

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    I'd say the overall historical scope and the active immersion in it can be considered educational, at least insofar as it can spark interest and imagination towards history, hopefully beyond what's detailed in the civilopedia. For instance, I've found myself looking up some of the more unfamiliar Great People or cities for more information on them.
    Also, in a very broad way, I do think that the tech tree does a decent job at capturing some of the sweep of historical development if one actually takes some time to think about it and try to understand the connections between the different techs.
     
  18. UWHabs

    UWHabs Deity

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    It's not educational like you'd see in school or university, but there are some aspects:

    -I tend to do really well on Jeopardy categories like, "Ancient Rulers". Questions about "Babylonian Kings" and stuff I know will end up as Hammurabi.

    -Similarly, the great wonders. You have the basics, which are the 7 wonders of the ancient world, which I'm sure Civ players would do much better in picking out than your average person. Or the fact that we've heard of stuff like Angkor Wat or the Hagia Sofia, which I'm sure at least 99% of people have never heard of.

    Then, you get a glimpse of history. I'm not ashamed to admit I've wikipedia-ed lots of stuff from the game. "Oh, THAT's what cuirassiers were."

    Now, some things Civ is bad about is it distorts time. So, if you ask a civ player when Buddhism was invented, we may be off by 3000 years (I have a feeling a lot of the current part of Civ were meant to start sometime around 500 to 1000 BC, instead of 4000BC - but that's a discussion for another day). But we would do better at guessing which age was after the bronze age.
     
  19. OscarWildebeest

    OscarWildebeest Prince

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    I agree completely. My whole attitude to problem-solving has massively improved since I started to play this game (starting with Civ1 about fifteen years ago!). Mostly it comes from learning that a straight line is not always the quickest route, and that you have to look several stages ahead when planning something.

    You could learn this sort of thing from most strategy games, of course, but Civ is turn-based (giving you time to think) and immensely complex (giving you several plates to spin at once). I'm looking forward to teaching it to my two sons once they're old enough to grasp the concepts. I don't think my partner will be very pleased, however...
     
  20. Yakk

    Yakk Cheftan

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    Yes, it can educate. No, it isn't going to generate a college-course level understanding of any subjects it covers.

    Cashew, there are facts in the Civilopedia that are not inaccurate -- I don't think you will dispute that. So someone saying they haven't found information that was wrong is perfectly reasonable.

    Can you produce Civilopedia entries with blatantly inaccurate information in them? (note, not game statistics) I am actually curious.
     

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