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Is Civilization IV Beyond The Sword Educational?

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

  1. WuphonsReach

    WuphonsReach Prince

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    I would say - not much "fact" knowledge, but lots of problem solving, planning and critical thinking skills.

    Which, in the long run, is what makes the difference. If you have the latter, you can usually pick up the former.
     
  2. PieceOfMind

    PieceOfMind Drill IV Defender Retired Moderator

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    I find playing civ educational in the sense it makes be better at playing civ. :) Isn't that what matters?
     
  3. Arlborn

    Arlborn Legendary Noob

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    It makes me interested in history, it tells me the basics about civilizations and leaders that I didn't know much about, and makes me crack my head thinking. So yeah, as far as a game goes, civilization is pretty OK.
     
  4. PieceOfMind

    PieceOfMind Drill IV Defender Retired Moderator

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    One thing I did pick up on from the civ games was how important access to fresh water was for civilizations to form. As far as i can tell all ancient civilizations grew by a river or a river delta, where the land was fertile and supported agriculture.
     
  5. PibbZ

    PibbZ Paladin

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    I dont know about Civ, but i know Sim City used to be :)
     
  6. Rusty Edge

    Rusty Edge Deity

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    CFC is more educational than CIV, but what would CFC be without CIV?

    I think the game teaches patience, at least.
     
  7. Sciguy001

    Sciguy001 CiV Great Scientist (duh)

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    I guess you could learn a lot of things just by surfing through these forums; like the history related threads in the off topic section of the site. So Civilization leads to CFC which leads to increased knowledge if you look for it.
     
  8. GreatWaldoneous

    GreatWaldoneous Chieftain

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    exactly... civ is like playing geopolitical chess... I personally like to watch history documentaries before playing to get me amped up to play, or listen to history podcasts while I play. I reccomend Dan Carlin's "Hardcore History". His trilogy, "Punic Nightmares" was freaking awesome! Definitely worth a listen. I also enjoy listening to this other podcast "The History of Rome" while playing civ. So is civ itself educational? It is to an extent. Does it get you wanting to learn history? That question is up to you.
     
  9. damnation

    damnation Frothing Rabbitine Sabor

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    I would say yes for sure. I am one of the top people in my social studies class for reading all the civapedia about the leaders and their nations. I learned of some empires i never knew existed (England, China, Rome, Russia's a big one, and American) as well as learning about some more known empires (holy Rome, Khmer, Native American, Incan, Maya) so i would say Civ is very educational.
     
  10. solistus

    solistus Warlord

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    I think Civ is far more educational as a strategy game than a historical sim or information source. Sure, you may learn a few trivia facts about ancient wonders and so on, but more importantly, you have to make a wide variety of strategic decisions and plan ahead. Critical problem-solving skills from strategy games like Civ will help you in every other aspect of life, whether in academic pursuits or anything else.
     
  11. 3 EMS

    3 EMS King

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    This I think is the educational value of CIV. Something piques your interest then you go out and learn about it.
    As far as Life Lessons go. If you're in a tank and you see a spearman, RUN!
     
  12. ranger101

    ranger101 Chieftain

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    I think it gives you the feel for the grand sweep of history more than a textbook or documentary would. Like the above posters have said, it tends to make you more interested in history.
     
  13. CCRunner

    CCRunner Deity

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    Civ itself is not all that educational. I mean sure it has a few facts but it's not like a text book or anything. Civ promotes an interest in history and geography though and that is very good and definitely better than any textbook.

    I attribute my interest in those subjects today to civ and my much larger interest in politics indirectly to civ via the form of the OT subforum of this forum. And that is a good thing :thumbsup:
     
  14. champ82

    champ82 Immortal Ruler

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    I like Hardcore History as well. I'll try to listen to Punic Nightmares.

    I'd say it's good 75% of the time (when he includes a lot of specifics.) 25% of the time though he seems to be like (first 10 minutes) "So this is the question I am proposing _______________________?" (middle 30 minutes) "This is the [same] question I am proposing ____________________?" (last 10 minutes) "So, _________________________?" Without ever really giving me the specifics about a topic that I wanted. I'm trying to remember which one he did this on....I think it was the one about the great depression and how it caused radicalism. I wanted some specifics on that, man! He gave like 2.

    His one of the Steppe peoples ruled though.
     
  15. Bobah

    Bobah Chieftain

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    My son has learned quite a lot about critical thinking, analyzing, and statistics by playing CIV IV. These skills are difficult to teach, since most middle school students would find them not very exciting. However, using them in CIV IV is fun, and my son has changed his manner of thinking and is doing extremely well in math, and science.

    If you read a lot of the technical posts explaining how the game engine works, you realize just how complicated it can get in figuring out the best strategy, given all the different variables. Plus, given the game is not static, one must learn to be flexible in their strategies, which is another valuable skill for a young student, as well as us older professional types. :)
     
  16. eris

    eris King

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    One of my kids hates history class as per the standard teenager's mandate. But he now knows more ancient and current civilizations and leader names than he realized, until he came home and told me that he got three questions on a pop quiz because they were all names he had heard from Civ.

    Last night, the show Mythbusters built a H'wacha and showed it's use. Very cool footage. And again, "I know that! It's in Civilization!" He recognized it as the Korean UU.

    I can't say it does a lot more than introduce names and concepts of history. For it to become educational, it has to lead to other efforts to learn: internet, books, discusions, or even (gasp) paying attention in class.

    There is some value in mental exercise and strategy and tacktics and economic analysis, but it is very abstracted for gameplay and not directly educational, more like good exercise for the brain rather than content. Not to be ignored, but not quite the same.
     
  17. indovinello

    indovinello Chieftain

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    The information in the Civilopedia is limited, but playing Civ IV has motivated me to look up outside sources of information about many of the great people, wonders, etc. in the game. In that sense it certainly has helped me to become better educated.
     
  18. Woodreaux

    Woodreaux Prince

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    BtS is not educational, in the same way that the Daily Show with Jon Stewart is not actual journalism.
     
  19. Da_V_Man

    Da_V_Man Chock full of V goodness

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    I wouldn't say Civ is educational per se, but I am with the general consensus in that it promotes an interest in history, and makes you think strategically.
     
  20. ExtraCrispy

    ExtraCrispy Warlord

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    Like the fact America has a Representative government and is a democracy at the same time?
     

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