Game Project – My Expectations

OMG Its Jakob™

Today we’re starting what we have all been waiting for, The Civilization game project. This is going to be epic!

As a 16 years old boy, playing videogames is always fun and exciting. Playing video games in class, without the teacher throwing your head across the classroom sounds even more exciting. You get my pont right? I’m excited,

When it comes to the playing part of the project its got to be awesome right. You cannot possibly get a better start to the week then by beeing told by your teacher to pick up your computer and play more video games, and your assigned homework the following week will be to continue playing. Aaah, living the dream aren’t we?

Well, of course there is some sort of educational side to this aswell and we’re probably supposed to be writing about some educational stuff which might not be as fun as…

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I am quite exited to start playing Civilization at school. I have already have played Civilization 5 a lot at home so I am a little disappointed that we have to play Civilization 4 instead of 5. I do have a little annoying problem with the computer I use. It is really slow when it comes to gaming. Not that I am surprised since it is a three year old mac.

I already have some experience with games like Dota 2 and Skyrim. I have to say that I have got a lot better at geographic after playing Civilization 5 since in that game you can have the earth as it is, and it makes you recognize where you are in the world. I also have learned about different world leaders that I had not even heard of. Like Kamehameha I the man who founded the Kingdom of Hawaii.


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Entering a foreign world


We are starting a gaming project in English class today, this game is supposed to be used as a learning tool in both the English subject and Social sciences. My expectations towards this project are not that great, in all honesty I think it is a waste of time to use this much time in class to play this game, which is called Civilization 4, instead of just learning things the “normal” way. This may have something to do with the fact that I’ve never really been into games, and I don’t really have any experiences with gaming in beforehand. Another reason why I’m not all that excited is because Im already very happy with the “normal” way of learning, so I don’t really feel like i need another alternative.

But on the other hand, i am kind of excited to do something different. Modern learning strategies really fascinate me…

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Civilization 4


In English and social science, class we are supposed to play a game called Civilization 4.

I have never played Civilization 4 before. When I heard that we were playing games at school, I was surprised, because I have never played a game as a school project before.

My expectations are not big,  because this is really new for me, so I don’t know what to expect, but I can still imagine this being a learning and sensible experience.

I tend not to play games in my spare time, so it can be a fun and educational experience to play games at school. I hope this game is easy and fun to play, because then, we will use a lot of time to play, and we will learn much more.

I hope this game is a game we learn from and get much experience by playing. I think it is…

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I like games. I play games with my friends. I grew up playing the Nintendo 64 and my Gameboy. Playing games like Pokémon and Mario cart and super Mario. That was my life, as I got older; I started to play more games on better consoles like the Wii and ps1. As you, probably realise now I like to play games. Therefore, when I first heard that we were going to play games at school I was excited. I think playing games in school is a good idea. It is a fun and good way to learn. We see small children play on their mum’s iPad or iPhone they often play silly games but some people play learning games, which helps them learning things faster than just sitting listening to a grown up talking. (I am not a fan of the apple products, but that is for a later post)

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The Best Type of Government

No game of civilization 4 is complete without taking advantage of the game’s many civics. Civics are ways to organise different aspects of civilization. They provide the civilization with unique bonuses that vary in realism.

For instance converting a civilization to a police state makes each city produce military units 25% faster and massively reduces the unhappiness during wartime, while adopting universal suffrage, which gives every citizen the right to vote, enables the player to speed up production by spending money and gives the civilization a production bonus from towns. Through the selection of civics it is therefore possible to organise a civilization to suit its current struggles.

Choose your style of leadership - Will you be a tyrannical or benevolent leader?

Choose your style of leadership – Will you be a tyrannical or benevolent leader?


I am currently running universal suffrage, bureaucracy, serfdom, state property and organised religion. There are mainly two reasons for this. Firstly, I am at war and the production bonuses from universal suffrage, bureaucracy, and state property are increasing the production of war units in my cities. Secondly serfdom and organised religion are providing a production speed bonus for improvements and buildings. Furthermore the state property civic decreases the cost of running far away cities, which enables increased focus on technological development rather than gold production.


My decision to utilize universal suffrage is to a certain degree realistic. For instance the production bonus from towns is something one might expect form a country where everybody, at least indirectly, participates in the country’s decision making. After all, if a major part of the population agrees with the decisions being made or at lest believes that the government is making decisions on their behalf, they would surely be more engaged and involved in society, which would result in a higher production and GDP. For instance an average Norwegian would most likely show a greater commitment to building a children’s hospital than a concentration camp for use during the holocaust.

On the other hand it is hard to imagine how paying a significant amount of gold would in any way speed up production to such a momentous degree. Surely paying money to direct attention and finish something faster is not in any way farfetched, but there is no obvious reason why only governments with universal suffrage would be able to do this, and in such an exaggerated manner, and is therefore not relatable to real life.

When relating the civics to reality I observed that the game does not make connections between civics, which is often the practice in our society. It is therefore important to notice that even though people are able to vote, it does not guarantee a democracy. Take Russia for example. Even though their constitution guarantees universal suffrage, the country is classified by the economist’s democratic index as an authoritarian regime and the same leader has been elected as the president or prime minister since 1999 (Britannica School, 2014 ) (The Economist Intelligence Unit, 2013).


Still, the game does miss a connection between civics in the game. Having universal suffrage, emancipation, free speech and free religion should in most cases highlight public opinion and result in a system of checks and balances that insures that power lies with the people. Then an additional happiness bonus and a prohibition from starting unprovoked wars would be expected. This is due to the fact that a population does not always want to go to war and often does not care about the leader’s ambitions of world domination. Therefore unless a strong version of nationhood or police state was adopted it would be hard to start wars. Therefore if I was waging war against a nation that wanted peace, universal suffrage is not the civic I would use

On the other hand, if my civilization was attacked. There is no doubt what kind of civics I would use. As seen during world war two, being the last protector of democracy comes with a great moral benefit. Therefore I would probably go with all the civics that are associated with a high degree of liberty. Even though democracy is often associated with a slow decision-making process, my field generals would take most of the decisions.

Churchill was one smart cookie.

In addition if all states were democratic, there would be greater understanding of the importance of human rights and the likelihood of wars world decrease (NDLA, 2010). This would in turn benefit my citizens and ultimately my civilization and the global community.

This way the game disappoints in realism, it fails to portray connections between civics and focuses too much on balancing the game through numbers and percentages. Although the bonuses sometimes are realistic and comes with graeat observatios, such as a production bonus from universal suffrage, it fails to render the limitations and combinational advantages. Therefore civics that seem useful in the game aren’t always the best in real life.




Written by Alexander – 1STA

Power – in international relations and Civilization IV

It can be difficult to define the word ”power”, because the word has such a wide field of application. We use the word in our everyday life, like for instance with family and friends about who “who is the leader in the group of friends” or “does mum and dad decide whether I should clean the dishes, or not?” In addition to this we also hear about power in the media connected to power in one individual country, as well as in international relations. And this is what I am going to tell you more about in this text, power in international relations. defines the word power in international relations like this: “Power in international relations means power to affect other nations to get the ability to enact for it´s own nation´s values and interests in the world society.”

Like in the real world, Civilization IV has international relations with other nations. We can divide the term power into three categories; economic power, military power and ideological power. In Civilization IV, we can use all of these different types of powers to conquer the other nations and win the game.

Economic power is most often about wealth and dividing benefits. It is not always about how much money a country has, but also about their national resources, and how much they are worth. An example of how a country can make use of their resources can be to boycott another country´s resource supply. Sometimes it is not even necessary to do this, but just threaten the other country that “if you don´t do as we want we will stop supplying you with our resources”. An example of this in the real world is Norway and Uganda.NRK´s article from February this year tells about the new law in Uganda that forbidden homosexuality. The punishment for being homosexual in Uganda is now fourteen years in jail, which Norway does not agree to. To stop this new law, Norway discussed what effect it would have if they cut the financial assistance to Uganda. When Norway cut their financial assistance, it was a way using thwir economic power to influence Ugandan decision-making.

Like I already mentioned, one can also use economic power in the game. It can be a good idea to stick to one playing strategy during the game, like for example to settle for having a stable and good economy. You can for example start extracting oil. The oil can help you in several ways, it is up to you whether you want to use the oil yourself, sell it to other nations, or trade it exchanged with something else you maybe need more. Like in the real world, you can use ether of these strategies to get what you want. One example can be that one nation that you is selling oil to, are going to war against another nation, that´s stronger than you are. You also have negotiation with this stronger nation, because you are trading oil against something else. Let´s say that the country you are selling oil to is Denmark, and the nation you are trading with is Russia. Russia do not like that you are having negotiations with Denmark, because Denmark is declaring war against them. Your solution in this situation can be to tell Denmark that if they are going to declare war against Russia, you will not be selling oil to them anymore. I believe Russia would easily win this war, and Denmark would end up with nothing.

Military power is about military forces. The main point in this category is about having as big and strong forces as possible. However, the most important about having a lot of military power is not the use of these forces, but that other nations are aware of how big the forces are and what they can be able to do. An example of this can be Ukraine and Russia. A while ago Ukraine started a military practice. This was not just because they needed to practice, but also to show Russia how strong they were and that it would be a bad idea for them to attack. In the game, this can happen the same way. If you see that the nation you want to attack has a stronger military force than you, it´s a bad idea to attack them.

This is a picture of the US military forces. USA has a lot of military power.

This is a picture of the US military forces. USA has a lot of military power.

The last category is ideological power, which is about thoughts, values and feelings. Ideological power is about getting through with it´s own nations values and interests without using military- or economic power. One way you can show your power is through common values and thoughts to achieve support, and in this way have ideological power. The best example I can come up with is the Vatican State. The Vatican State do not have any military forces, and do not even have their own economy, because they´re a part of the Italian economic system. (, 2014). However, the Vatican State is a strong nation because the Pope is the leader of the country, in addition to being the leader of the Roman Catholic Church. Because the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church is so important to so many people, the Vatican State has a lot of power. So if you attack the Vatican State, you kind of attack the whole Roman Catholic Church.

This is the Vatican State, and as you see, it does not have any military forces, yet is has a lot of power.

This is the Vatican State, and as you see, it does not have any military forces, yet is has a lot of power.

My conclusion is that there are similarities between the Civilization IV and the real world when it comes to power. For me it was not that easy to in the ideological power, but especially the military power has many similarities with the real world society.

Sources: 2014 Downloaded 28.04.2014 25.02.2014 18.04.2014