Daily Archives: December 19, 2004

gaming gaming gaming

I just submitted my final grades to the university, so my semester is officially over! Of course to celebrate, I have been playing lots of games. I still haven’t noticed any real trash talking on Counter-Strike:Source, so maybe trashtalkers really ARE 13 year old kids? It will be itneresting to see if lots of kids get Halk-Life 2 for Christmas and the ammount of crap in CS:S goes up noticably.
I’ve been trying to get into Deus Ex 2, but I just can’t seem to do it. Too much takling and the gun feels too wimpy. Continuing my long running hatred of the Unreal engine, Deus Ex 2 has already crashed once on me and this new computer never crashed on Doom 3 or Half-Life 2,,,
I’ve also been playing a lot of Civ3. It was all research, I swear! I got an A on the paper, so I guess I might try to publish it at some point. Below is a portion of the first page. Anyone interestested in the rest can drop me an email.

The Civilization games have been lauded as “The Best Game of All Time” by Computer Gaming World magazine and the “Greatest Computer Strategy Game of All-Time” by Time magazine, won countless other awards and is responsible for a slew of both spin-offs as well as knock-offs (Friedman, Civ3.com). It has even been the subject of numerous studies into the educational potential of videogames having been declared by one scholar as, “a particularly intriguing tool for studying world history in that it allows students to examine relationships among geography, politics, economics, and history over thousands of years and from multiple perspectives” (Squire 9). Despite these accolades, the Civ games have not gone uncritiqued by scholars who have noted some of the Imperialist choices that have influenced the game designs.
While many traditional forms of explicit colonialism have fallen to the wayside, and historians have reexamined the way in which histories of colonization is presented, to a large extent, historically-inspired popular entertainments have failed to rethink the history which they purport to present. In wargaming and in historical simulations, issues are presented in a simplistic good vs. bad format which almost always either depicts the European as good while those whose lands were colonized as bad or they are depicted in such a manner that all civilizations have the same goals and structure. In this paper the ways in which Sid Meier’s Civilization videogames present a highly simplistic notion of colonization, imperialism and empire will be discovered. Also explored will be the ways in which the game reinforces traditional notions of good civilizations vs. bad (or barbaric) civilizations, what it means to be civilized, as well as the ways in which the game makes other civilizations appear either completely western or so inscrutably Other that the only way to deal with them is through eradication. The purpose of this is not to condemn the Civilization series, its creator, or players as “bad” but, rather, to demonstrate the ways in which the legacies of colonialism and classical liberalism continue to play themselves out in places as seemingly benign as our entertainments and how our current culture remains a Civilization of Colonialism.