Firaxis Games and 2K announced that they are bringing Sid Meier’s Civilization V to North American High Schools. Nonprofit GlassLab Inc is being tapped to create a modified version called CivilizationEDU. The acclaimed strategy game has sold more than 8 million units since 2010. The partnership was announced at the 13th Annual Games for Change Festival.
CivilizationEDU will provide a host of new classroom-friendly features for both students and teachers. An analytics engine will record students’ progress. Through it they can discover their strengths in problem-solving skills. Teachers will gain guides, resources, and an online dashboard with student reports. A lesson plan on how to use the unique version of the game in current academic standards will also be provided.
“For the past 25 years, we’ve found that one of the fun secrets of Civilization is learning while you play,” said Sid Meier, Founder and Director at Firaxis Games. “Our players – young and old – enjoy learning, even if they don’t always enjoy education. Players learn valuable lessons from their success and failures. We’re absolutely thrilled to be partnering with GlassLab. I am excited to see CivilizationEDU in classrooms next year.”
This is exciting news. While I’ve covered using gaming concepts in the classroom, this is literally using the game itself. Civilization is heralded as one of the greatest gaming franchises of all time. Its real-world historical basis and global society aspects make it an ideal learning tool. Plus it’s a lot of fun, which always makes for a good learning tool.
Civ isn’t the first game to be given the educational makeover. GlassLab have had previous success making SimCityEDU and a math-based version of Plants vs. Zombies.
“We’re thrilled to offer CivilizationEDU as part of GlassLab’s collection of games for next generation learning,” said Connie Yowell, CEO of Collective Shift (merging with GlassLab). “CivilizationEDU is a perfect example of how games can be used to teach and assess key 21st century skills that are hard to measure on multiple-choice tests.”
CivilizationEDU will be available in Fall 2017. You can pick up Civilization V at a deep discount right now during the Steam Summer Sale. Civilization VI was also announced last month with an October 21 release date.