CivilizationEDU will debut in schools in the fall of 2017. The history-inspired, turn-based strategy game has sold more than 8 million copies and is highly educational even in its unmodified state. The award-winning series is now 25 years old, but its basic gameplay hasn’t strayed from enabling players to build and run their own empires from the Stone Age to the modern age.
The companies announced the game at the 13th Annual Games for Change Festival in New York. Developed by Firaxis Games, Sid Meier’s Civilization V was one of the most critically acclaimed PC games of 2010, and earned numerous awards and accolades.
CivilizationEDU will provide students with the opportunity to think critically and create historical events, consider and evaluate the geographical ramifications of their economic and technological decisions, and to engage in systems thinking and experiment with the causal/correlative relationships between military, technology, political and socioeconomic development, the companies said.
GlassLab, a nonprofit that also made SimCityEDU, will add a learning analytics engine to CivilizationEDU to capture students’ progress and assess their problem-solving skills – harnessing the popularity and innovation of interactive entertainment and turning it into a powerful tool for the classroom and alternative to standardized tests. Teachers who use CivilizationEDU will have access to an online dashboard that will provide reports on students’ progress, demonstrating how in-game accomplishments relate to problem solving; developer diaries; gameplay tutorial videos, and instructional resources, including an in-depth gameplay guide and lesson plans aligned to academic and 21st century standards.
“We are incredibly proud to lend one of our industry’s most beloved series to educators to use as a resource to inspire and engage students further,” said Strauss Zelnick, Chairman and CEO of Take-Two, in a statement. “Civilization has challenged millions of people around the world to revisit and experience history, pursue boldly exploration, and create their own societies based on their passions and freedom of choice. I can’t think of a better interactive experience to help challenge and shape the minds of tomorrow’s leaders.”
Civilization VI will be launching on the PC this fall.
“For the past 25 years, we’ve found that one of the fun secrets of Civilization is learning while you play,” added Sid Meier, founder and director of creative development at Firaxis Games, in a statement. “We’ve always focused on entertainment first, but we believe that our players – young and old – enjoy learning, even if they don’t always enjoy education. Civilization players find fun in discovering new civilizations, running into famous historical leaders, and charting their own version of human history. Along the way, players learn valuable lessons from their success and failures and are able to try again, employing different choices and strategies. We’re absolutely thrilled to be partnering with GlassLab and I am excited to see CivilizationEDU in classrooms next year.”