Civilization IV

Thursday I bought Civ IV.  I had wanted to get it for a while now but with the end of the school year and my burn out it just seemed to get pushed to the back burner for a while.  But now I finally have it.  I would estimate I have logged about 10 hours of game play (that is really just a guess I will have to ask my wife what she thinks it is) from Thursday to Monday morning and in all honesty I could have easily logged 20 if my family wasn’t around 😉  Even my 4 year old daughter has sat with me while I have been playing.  She keeps requested to see Catherine the Great.  Anyway, my first impressions of the game have been fantastic.  I love it.  I love to play it.  When I am not playing it I am thinking about it.  I think that is normal for a gamer with a new game.  I am well into my first attempt.  1800AD is where I stand on the time line and I am in the midst of a war with  Tokugawa and Genghis Khan.  Their puny empires can not stand up to my mighty Russia and her defense pact with Roosevelt.  (My choice in Russia was based on my likeness of playing Russia in Making History)  Well, if you have played you understand what I am up to.

 However, the use of Civ IV in my classroom is what I really wanted to discuss here.  The game obviously would have a draw for teenagers.  However, one thing that has made my feelings toward Making History so strong is one thing I do not like about Civ.  Playing MH is easy which is important.  Civ is simple for a gamer like me who has spent countless hours with AOE and AOM but for a non gamer sitting down with CIV.  I am a bit concerned about the complexity of the game.  Don’t get my message wrong.  I love Civ at this point and it was well worth my 46 dollar purchase.  I am just not sure it is right for my classroom.  I could easily tie in some themes of history: technology, religion, culture, effects of great people on a society and others but for my classes to sit and play a game…..I am just not sold on yet.  I really like the fact that MH can be played in its entirety.  Civ, although entertaining and engaging, is not easy to complete in a classroom situation.  Application benefits can not outweigh consummation of the curriculum.  Time is always of the essence and the expansiveness of Civ is both is greatest complement and hindrance.

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5 responses to “Civilization IV

  1. Uh-oh. Watch out, Dave. You could be in danger of becoming a Civ addict. Check out http://www.civanon.org/home.shtml
    😉

    …just one more turn…

    Chris–

  2. Chirs

    This is hilarious. I laughed my butt off at this site….only because I didn't want to cry at the reality of some of it….ok all of it. I came to tears when Edna talked about splitting the atom and dropping the &(*^&%^*&*()&*^&^ bomb on everyone! ONE MORE TURN.

  3. Hi Dave

    What would you say the age range difference is between MH and Civ IV? I’m not familiar with MH though I’m interested in the MuzzyLane and the Game Institute’s Using Games in Education. Is it easier to plan smaller module’s or lessons with the Making History?

    Aaron Ball

  4. Aaron

    Your question is interesting. MH is a game I think I could successfully use from grades 9 to 12+. I suppose a teacher of a Gifted and Talented group of junior high students could also use MH. I would not attempt Civ with anything below grade 10. And it may be a huge challenge for 10th graders. As for lesson planning…. MH lends itself to lesson planning. The makers kept this in mind in the design of the game. That is the essence of the differences between MH and Civ. MH was made with the educator in mind. Civ was not. Check out making-history.com and you can find all kinds of downloadable material for you and your students. After playing it for two years in class I could not say anything better than that I will continue to play it in my class. I am also trying to figure out how I can use it in my Sociology class. It is well worth my time and in all reality the reason I started this blog. Hope this helps and feel free to contact me if you have any other questions. Also, the people at Muzzy Lane are incredibly helpful and I am sure would be willing to answer any questions you may have about MH.

    Best,
    Dave McDivitt

  5. Hey Dave,

    I know you’re a big MH fan (saw the article last week). Thinking of Civ though, and how you use the Sims in your Soc class (every Friday), do you think you might try that type of scenario for a World History class? Or would just..one..more..turn have kids staying in class too long? 😉 (yes, I’m a Civ player)

    If you haven’t seen it, Kurt Squire did his doctoral thesis on using Civ III in the class.
    http://website.education.wisc.edu/kdsquire/dissertation.html

    Cheers – Jonathan from MA

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