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.