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Is Civilization IV Beyond The Sword Educational?

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

  1. Joshua368

    Joshua368 Warmongering builder

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    Not the civilopedia, but from the library and internet. But I wouldn't have looked it up if it weren't for civ interesting me in it. :mischief:

    [citation needed] :king:
     
  2. Lemon Merchant

    Lemon Merchant Superconductor Moderator

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    Ignoring the obvious things like the 'pedia, the game is very educational, but in a quiet, subtle way.

    Basically, it teaches you to use your mind.

    I've been teaching Civ to a schizophrenic at the hospital that I work in. I'll spare the dull details. He plays at a level that most of us laugh at, but he's starting to win. He's gone from being a disorganized mess to being able to focus for periods of time. He's starting to be able to strategize.

    We've all (us nurses), noticed a slight change in him for the better. He's never going to be well, but he has something to do, and he's a little sharper for it.

    Did Civ do that? It makes me use my brain a lot more. Maybe it does it for him, too.
     
  3. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    Only if you want to suck horrifically at it.

    Doing well in most games requires strategy. Granted, some shooters are limited because of the demographic that plays them (or via in-game stupidity like the spawning locations in halo 3 and some of its game modes). Nevertheless, thinking out player movements, control of important pickups, grenade placement, when open fire etc all matter. Gears of war is probably the best for this though sadly in gears II they dumbed it down intentionally :( :( :(. How? Giving everyone a smoke grenade that stuns and can be wall planted. Tactical movement used to matter so much more. Now 12 year olds can sit there with their sniper and just let the smoke grenade tell them if someone is coming from the flank :mad:.

    Anyway, MOST high level gaming (including many shooters) requires intelligence, strategy, and skill to truly compete at high levels. Civ IV has a particularly high cap on the strategy required, but almost every game has a substantial amount.
     
  4. jlindy

    jlindy Death From Below

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    God I hope not...
     
  5. j0b

    j0b Chieftain

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    One thing I enjoy are the quotations you get with each tech. I work in Construction, and the one about "The Designer knows he has achieved perfection, not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away" is actually a really poignant comment on simplicity in design, and I have used it in my business life. A number of the quotes are very interesting and add to your general knowledge (and can even make you sound smarter than you really are :) ).

    My eight year old daughter likes to play the game with "always peace" and it teaches her a few bits and pieces about strategy and economics, and a number of other basic historical concepts. Sure, it isn't the truest representation of history, but it is fun, interesting and even a bit educational for her.

    j0b
     
  6. UWHabs

    UWHabs Deity

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    beep. beep. beep. beep
     
  7. j0b

    j0b Chieftain

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    Either you are censoring yourself because you violently disagree with me, or you are being Sputnik. I will assume it is the latter :)
     
  8. Sciguy001

    Sciguy001 CiV Great Scientist (duh)

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    I cracked up when I heard that quotation:)
     
  9. Iranon

    Iranon Deity Whipping Boy

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    A lot of the civopedia seems rather dubious to me... sometimes simply not very well-researched and sometimes biased to a ridiculous degree. Still, at the very least it's a good starting point to get people to read up on some of the content in more authoritative sources.

    To me, civ4 stands out as a good excuse to whip out pencil and paper (and maybe a calculator if you're being a wuss) and analyse the mechanics behind it to death. However, it's also deep enough to require skills beyond simple number crunching - there are plenty of players considerably bettert than myself who never bother with this sort of thing.
    But then, I chose my degree because 'economists do it with models' and that hasn't been working out so far.

    Civ4 also teaches the important life lesson that, if violence doesn't solve your problem, you aren't using enough. That alone is worth countless hours spent on it.
     
  10. 6K Man

    6K Man Bureaucrat

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    Somewhat. The historical information contained in the game is pretty basic, but then you have to remember that the level of general historical knowledge in western society is pretty abysmal. Civ4 could probably improve that a bit - assuming that those playing the game were the ones without the historical knowledge, of course.

    The game does require planning and the employment of some basic financial principles (deficit spending, time value of money, balance of competing interests, etc). Nothing that would add to the knowledge level of an economics phd, but possibly educational for those who haven't been exposed to those principles.
     
  11. Sciguy001

    Sciguy001 CiV Great Scientist (duh)

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    However you still can learn stuff from just playing the game, like the city of Parsagrade was located in Persia, the capital of India was Delhi, just simple stuf like that.
     
  12. nanomage

    nanomage Longbowman

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    erm... a bit shocked to imagine someone would not know these by the time he mastered such a complicated game. It is almost like saying that, say, penguins game is educational because it teaches children that penguins have short wings and cannot fly, isn't it?
    no offense meant though
     
  13. Sciguy001

    Sciguy001 CiV Great Scientist (duh)

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    Well of course I knew these things before I started playing, its just that some people might not when they started playing. You have to respect the fact that not everyone knows the geography of the world off the top of their head when they begin to play Civilization.
     
  14. Roller123

    Roller123 Prince

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    Adequate history depiction was always a strong point in Civ4 for me. You know it could be way way worse. Like in the movie "300" ;) Or any other entertaining product, which Civ4 is too.

    I dont think anyone doubts here that a proper history book provides a more in-depth look, the problem is that noone is going to read it but some specialists or hardcore history fans. Unlike Civilopedia, which is read by every Civ4 player. So which one has a higher educational value, the one which actually succeeds in educating, or the one noone reads unless forced.
     
  15. BarrageQueen

    BarrageQueen Warlord

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    I wouldn't say that Civ is educational much in the depth of knowledge learned. It can be quite educational, though, in the breadth of information. I didn't know anything at all, for example, about the Ethiopian and Mali empires before playing Civ.

    As for the strategy aspect, that's another dimension that could be "educational" as well.
     
  16. OscarWildebeest

    OscarWildebeest Prince

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    Just to add to what I said before, playing Civ has also rekindled a dormant interest in ancient and medieval history for me - and Civ4 has introduced me to a whole load of medieval music, which I am now very fond of (eg Sheppard, Brumel, Praetorius).
     
  17. mujambee

    mujambee Chieftain

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    I've allways had trouble keeping track of several tasks at a time, and use Civ as a way of training on that. And it has helped me a lot to improve at work.

    Not like Lemon Merchant's schizophrenic, but going along the same ways.
     
  18. Zaimejs

    Zaimejs Emperor

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    Sadly, Civ IV is a metaphor for the way I live life. I'm not sure if the game has informed me, or if I've simply applied my world to the game. Generally, I tend to stretch my resources as thin as possible. I attack other Civs when I know I'll have just enough to win... and often my defenses are bare minimum. This is how I seem to manage my life. Stretching everything thin... living on the edge of the sword.

    Other than that, keeping the wonders of the world straight is pretty cool. Ancient leader's names is interesting. I think there is tons of educational stuff here and I've recommended the game to World History teachers as a "jumping off" point for students to engage. I'm sure someone brilliant could even mod the game to be more historically accurate or create custom games that reflect certain events in history accurately.
     
  19. noto2

    noto2 Emperor

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    Sure it is. Aside from the historical aspect, playing a game of strategy AND chance allows someone to appreciate probability. Only win 1 out of 10 games? Get frustrated and reload when Gengis declares and invades you, or when you miss out on the pyramids? By using risky noobish strategies, you will win 1 out of 10 games by sheer luck, because what you are doing works 10% of the time. I learned that the hard way. Way back in the day I'd send unescorted settlers, always go for the pyramids, go for religions all the time, etc. I'd also blow a gasket when I lost battles with less than 75% odds. Now I realize it's not fun to win a game by luck. I take less risks and play very carefully. Now I win much more than 10% of my games. So you could say Civ is teaching me to understand probability and risk calculation ;)
     
  20. Sciguy001

    Sciguy001 CiV Great Scientist (duh)

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    I guess you could try calculating the odds of a battle before it tells you the percent to practice up on some math skills.
     

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