It's becoming more common to see games used in the classroom these days and, starting next year, the world-building simulator _Civilization _will be among those ranks.
Pretty much the most appropriate place to make such an announcement, the folks at Take-Two Interactive, 2K and Firaxis Games revealed during today's 13th Annual Games for Change Festival that a new version of _Civilization _will be introduced to U.S. classrooms thanks to a partnership with GlassLab Inc.
According to the initial report, this new version of Civilization _will be implemented in classrooms starting in the fall of 2017. Growing up, the only games we were allowed to play at school involved solving math problems, chucking bananas, the very occasional romp through _SimCity _or, of course, Oregon Trail. Now schoolkids are going to get to play Civilization_ in the classroom and I'm not even a little bit jealous.
Of course, this will be a modified version of Civilization called Civilization EDU. We're guessing it will offer a heavier focus on discussing actual history, loading players up on all sorts of knowledge while they try to build their own empire.
And really, Civilization _is probably one of the best educational games on the market without even being turned into a more classroom-ready outing. Math, science, strategy, problem solving and economics all come into play in your average game of _Civilization, so it's easy to see why teachers are intrigued by the idea of introducing it to their students. The easiest way to teach something is to present it in a way where it doesn't feel like a lesson, and video games certainly fit that bill nicely.
The team at GlassLab Inc. also plan to create a system that will track students' progress and problem-solving skills, creating solid data points for reference when either improving the game for future generations or seeing what areas a student might need additional help with.
According to Take-Two Chairman and CEO Strauss Zelnick, the team is excited to get a game like Civilization into the classroom.
Well, Mr. Zelnick, if you're looking for challenge, we'd recommend introducing Dark Souls to the classroom instead. But still, you make a valid point.
Perhaps the best part of this equation is that Civilization is such a storied franchise. This isn't a brand new game that folks hope will serve education well. The Civilization series has been around for a quarter of a century, so it's fair to say that they've nailed the formula down at this point. It sounds like Civilization EDU could replace "recess" as the automatic response students give to the question, "What do you enjoy most about school?"