I know a lot of us, myself included, judge Civilization based on how "realistic" it is. I remember 1UPT breaking my immersion at the beginning when I saw archers shooting over the English Channel. I loved Rhye's and Fall of Civilization because let's face it - a civilization surviving for 6000 years is the exception, not the rule. However, I think it's important to remember that Civilization was never meant to be realistic. I know it's not an original point, but it's an often overlooked one. Civilization is highly abstracted in many ways, and always has been. It's more symbolic than it is realistic. Starting with Civ1, it was the idea of persistent civilizations "to stand the test of time." It was the centuries-long construction of buildings. It was the same units being upgraded from neolithic warriors to modern infantry. Etc. I feel that the evolution of the franchise that peaked in Civilization 4 tried to move more towards realism - look at the complexity of Civ4's systems like health, culture, vassals, etc. This is one of the main reasons why Civ4 is still so popular, I feel - it is the most "realistic" instalment in the series. Civ5 took bold steps back towards abstraction and symbolism, for better or for worse. 1UPT is arguably anything but realistic on maps of this scale. As is picking policies and sticking to them 'til the end of time. As are City States the way they work in the game. In that sense, I feel that Civ5 really went "back to the roots" - picking a symbolic and recognisable representation of phenomena over a realistic one in most cases. Whether it works or not is a matter of personal taste but the commercial success of Civ5 shows that it works for most people, at least. Now, I feel that Civ6 is further following this trend, de-stacking of cities being the prime example. I mean, London will span throughout the British Isles on a typical map now. "Eureka" moments (boosts to research) are a great example of this, as well. They take a realistic premise ("your environment shapes your civilization") and they implement it in a highly abstracted way ("meet a civ, get writing quicker"). When they announced it, at first I was hoping it would be impossible to research boats without access to ocean, etc. But it's not how Civilization works. It's not meant to be realistic. It's meant to be recognisable, iconic - a highly distilled version of human development. It is more a game than it is simulation. (Which is why many of us also play Paradox games - to scratch that other itch.) What do you guys think? Do you prefer realism or symbolism? Where do you see Civ6 going in that context.