Reflections – Learning to Play

Nope… Playing to learn

Civilization 4: first impressions

So civilization is this going to be learning or playing, fun or boring? These are the questions swirling in my head when it comes to playing computer games at school. So first: why do I play videogames?

The reason I play videogames at home, is to escape the sometimes-boring moments in everyday life. What will then happen when I play games to do the exact thing I am trying to take a break from? To be honest I think this project might make me loose this free corner of my time where no thinking is needed. But I enjoy playing games, so maybe I will find some kind of crossroad where having fun and not thinking and school and thinking meets. I love the idea of playing games to learn it has been one of the things I have been looking very much forward to this school year. So I just hope that this does not kill either the fun of learning or playing.

What do I think of the game? Civilization is a game where it seems like you need to know what every decision does for you and what it takes away, so it basically need more thinking then all the other games I have played… combined. To become good at this game I plan to watch YouTube videos, read wikipages and guides and later both live and breathe civilization. But and there is a big but, I only do this with games I like, like… like a lot (for example LoL, Skyrim and TF2). Civilization seems like the kind of game it takes many months to learn to play properly, so luckily that is not the point of this assignment.


Bottom line I am looking forward to having a great time with playing and learning, hoping it does not ruin my relations to either of them.

I am a gamer at heart, but that is at home… but maybe just for now 😉

Written by Øyvind A – 1STA


10 thoughts on “Reflections – Learning to Play

  1. Hey Øyvind,

    You’ve really hit the nail on the head, Civilization is an immensely complex strategy game where what you do one turn can have astounding effects 50 turns down the road. I play LoL, Skyrim and TF2 myself, and understand your more action oriented background. What you’ll find is that Civ is a game that will every now and then throw a curveball at you strategy wise. A great way to play is to look at how successful nations have risen over the centuries and employ similar tactics. There are many ways to win (and lose!), don’t be afraid to experiment!

    Good Luck!

    • Hey Nischal!

      We are now in the final week of this experiment/education period. Next week we are going to reflect on how it has been using Civ4 in class. For me it has been a great experience, but i’ll have to admit that my thoughts on the game has been heavily affected by the hours spent between each playing-seesion writing texts about the game.

      It has been fun, but the writing did in fact take away the fun of the game unfortunately.

      Thank you for your reply 😀

  2. Hi, I am an English teacher currently working in Turkey. I came across this blog via a link in Facebook. I am very interested in this project. From a teacher’s point of view there are a lot of questions about this technique, especially how to ensure that all students benefit when all will have a different experience. Because of this, I was especially interested in your blog wondering about the effect on you, as the lines between escapism, leisure, reality and work became blurred.
    I am looking forward to following how it all works out!

    • It has been an experience at least. My thoughts about the games has been affected by the writing inbetween. But having to play games as homework was fun! But it made me get tired of the game faster than i regularly would :/

  3. Hi, i have also been playing this game. It sounds like you have done a lot of research on the game. Do you think it would require less effort understanding the real world through a book than understanding the game?

  4. There is no better resource for learning Civ IV than the CFC forums:

    The primary thing to keep in mind is that it actually isn’t an accurate political sim at all. The localized food model, bizarre trading system, ad hoc spread of religion, and general gameboard feel make it basically a builder TBS with a historical theme. That’s not to say you can’t learn about history; there’s the Civilopedia and unique buildings/units, and I know geography to a degree that only specialists usually reach because of my penchant for playing on the Earth map.

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