First I got introduced to Sid Meier’s Civilization through my oldest brother who of course had been playing it for a long time before me. As a kid it didn’t really interest me that much, however as I grew up new versions of the game were released and the idea started to intrigue me. So I also picked up the Civilization IV and that’s where it all started, although I would be considered quite a casual player in when looking into the core of the Civilization community.
Civilization is an immersive computer strategy game, even one game it can soak easily hours even tens of hours of gameplay. Latest version of the game, Civilization V was released on September 2010, and I did pre-purchase the game. Since then it has released a lots of updates, extra Downloadable Content packs (DLC) and expansion packs. In fact, compared to the previous game it indeed felt from tiny player’s perspective that the game was missing some features on the launch that should’ve been there, later then introduced my expansions.
So, as I today checked my Steam account I notice that Sid Meier’s Civilization V has hit 200 hours for me. That’s the highest play time on single title that I have on steam. Understandably expansions and DLC’s make the game more re-playable. As a game experience it is quite wonderful. Actually I would even argue, that now after a long time of polishing the game experience has reached its’ peak…
…And that’s why it is apparently time for Civilization VI. Will I buy it? Will you buy it? Are we willing to risk ‘one more turn’ of our time?
My initial reaction after the announcement trailer was hell yeah! I found the trailer awesome, despite the fact that I didn’t see the trailer build up on the story the way I had hoped. Or at least I didn’t see it build up, chronologically or in any other way logically. It just said a bunch of inspiring stuff where the only connecting thought was the Civilization. Although I really like this picture that I assume will be in the ‘cover’ of the game.
Today, I decided to ask myself different question: exactly what makes civilization worth of hundreds of hours of gameplay?
For me, Civilization proved inspiration, learning and flow. The feeling of being immersed into the game is incredible. Even after playing 200 hours the game can provide insights and get excited about learning something new. As an example, recently I got really positively surprised how big impact the trade routes can have to the game later on. It was a feature that I had not explored previously so far, as I hadn’t even played the latest expansion so thoroughly.
After answering the questions, I realized okay that’s nice to know. However, more interesting question is the motivation, what makes us turn on the game?
Overall it’s really good entertainment quality; intellectually challenging while also satisfying some of the curiosities. Sometimes it’s the friends who we play with, sometimes just to challenge ourselves and take on a higher difficulty level.
Playing Civilization has taught me a lot, as well as triggering further study on the topics. Compared traditional activities like reading, the learning through Civilization happens through player created narratives and for sure as enough repetition happens, we finally learn something. Learning, succeeding and overcoming challenges to win AI and your friends is truly satisfying experience!
So, if these hopes are still relevant when the game will be released, I’ll buy it and risk it. What about you?