Sunday, 26 November 2017 17:34

Civilization Series

Main screen

The "Civilization" computer game series is a creation of Sid Meier,a well known digital video game producer and creator.

All games in the series follow the same pattern. These are strategy games in which the player is asked to take on a historical culture and develop his imaginary empire through the different periods of the past and of the future (Sakic & Varga, 2015). The player is called upon to exploit the natural resources in the game, to enter into trade agreements with other cultures, to build cities, to conduct warfare in order to show his culture as the strongest in the game (Squire, 2008).
 
The first "Civilization" was released to the public in 1991 and since then 13 different versions of the game have been released as well as many expansion packs for existing expansion packs. Although the 1991 version does not seem particularly complicated in our eyes today, it was pioneering, as at that time the resources available for developing digital computer games were limited due to the limited number of personal computer owners, making it a benchmark due to complexity in comparison with Sid Meier's Civilization (The Complete evolution Timeline, 2017).
civ 6
In 1994 and 1995 Colonization and CivNet became available respectively. It is worth mentioning this unique version of CivNet, which, when watching the internet come in tersely in the homes added the option of online game play among users (Civilization Series, 2017). As the years passed and the computers evolved in relation to the capabilities they provided so the series improved and gained more data. 1996 was the year of Civilization II, and in 2001 at the dawn of the 21st Century Civilization III was released. Now with computers being part of the public's entertainment, the need for optimal graphics and better online connectivity between players led to the creation of Civilization IV, which was distinguished by an improved system of intelligence technician (Famularo, 2016) requiring a more sophisticated perception and behavior (Wainwright, 2014). With the massive entry of smart phones into the market, there has been a need to create games that are compatible with these mobile devices. So 2009 was the first time a game of the Civilization series revolutionized, as it was developed in addition to personal computers on the Wii, Xbox 360 and mobile devices running Windows and IOS (Civilization Revolution, n.d). Then, in 2010, Civilization V came in, which introduced a large-scale three-dimensional representation of the game's objects (Civilization Series, 2017), while the battle system evolved rapidly as it demanded a more strategic and sophisticated approach by users (Famularo, 2016). The corresponding version of the Android-powered mobile game came in 2011. The latest and most complete version currently available for sale is "Civilization VI", which features detailed graphical representations, a wealth of variety of features and options, developed intelligence system, an inexpensive online gaming experience, and a host of other improvements that have come to enhance the most successful strategy game series for 25 years (Civilization Series, 2017 ).
 
Educational background
In conclusion, it is worth mentioning that various teachers, considering their potential educational potential, attempted to introduce them to the classroom first with Squire's leading researcher in the field of educational games Squire in 2005 (Sakic & Varga, 2015), efforts which ultimately led to the development of a clean "CivilizationEdu", which is expected in the end of 2017 and will include, beyond the game, instructions, tips and educational videos to teachers s to use it to enhance their teaching (Frank, 2016).
Civ Education Edition

Bibliography
Šakic, M. & Varga, V. (2015, September) VIDEO GAMES AS AN EDUCATION TOOL. Paper presented at the Sixth International Conference on e-Learning (eLearning-2015),
Sid Meier's Civilization: The Complete Evolution Timeline (2017). https://inside.worldgaming.com/sid-meiers-civilization-evolution-timeline/ ">Retrieved October 1, 2017, by https://inside.worldgaming.com/sid-meiers-civilization-evolution-timeline/

Squire, K.D. (2008). Video games and education: Designing learning systems for an interactive age. Educational Technology. 48 (20). 17-26
Familaro, J. (2016) The Evolution of 'Civilization' Over 25 Years One of the gaming's classic franchises continues to conquer. https://www.inverse.com/article/22373-civilization-">Retrieved October 1, 2017, by https://www.inverse.com/article/22373-civilization-

Published in Video Games
Tuesday, 21 November 2017 12:16

This War of Mine

This War of Mine is an electronic video game developed by the 11 bit studios. The game’s background is inspired by the Yugoslav civil war and the siege of Sarajevo, which lasted four years in which approximately 5,000 mainly civilian civilians were killed (Kirkpatrick & Schiltz, 2016).

What makes it special is that, unlike the other games that put the user in the position of warrior, this game puts him in the position of a citizen and the way he experiences a warring conflict having survival as his main concern (Noack, 2014). The player is called upon to manage the survival of a group of citizens through organizing the distribution of available resources such as fuel, food, water and medicine in particularly difficult situations that affect the mood and vitality of each member until a ceasefire is declared.

The interaction required by the player does not stop only in pure survival and in finding resources, as he is asked to explore his / her own moral framework, being in charge of decisions and moves that affect the psychological situation and consequently the needs of the group handled. For example, he may decide to rob a couple of elderly people to save a member of his own team, but some of its members are so negatively affected by this choice to the point that the group can not function properly, leading some of up to suicide. The player is asked to walk in a stretched rope of balance and survival, experiencing horror, despair and the needs of people in war conditions.


Pedagogical background of the game:

the player is called upon to develop his / her ability to make decisions in the light of the ethical issues that arise. It creates practices interacting with the environment of the game and learns through its own actions by remodeling its choices according to the mistakes it makes (Auberger, n.d.). This War of Mine promotes reflection through the impact of achieving the goal of surviving, creating a sense of despair as the player's choices don’t affect the outcome of the war,  as he is only tasked with the wellbeing of his team, a feeling experienced by any civilian who finds himself in the midst of a war (Toma, 2015). No matter what he does, people will lose their lives, and he is called upon to explore the point where the need for survival overlaps his moral and psyche.

The game is available for personal Computers, IOS and Android devices.

Bibliography
Auberger. (n.d.) This War of Mine. Retrieved November 7, 2017, by http://www.playful-pedagogy.org/this-war-of-mine.html

Kirkpatrick, J. & amp; Schiltz, S. (2016). Review - this War of Mine. Retrieved November 7, 2017, by http://www.e-ir.info/2016/02/07/review-this-war-of-mine/

Noack, R. (2014) This war video game is not about the shooters. It's about the victims.Washington Post. November 21.

Toma, E. (2015) Self-reflection and morality in critical games. Who is to be blamed for war? Journal of Comparative Research in Anthropology and Sociology. 6 (1), 209-224.

 

Published in Video Games