Overview – Civilization III
What Is Civilization?
Firaxis’ Civilization III is a turn-based strategy game. Players take a god’s-eye view as they build their civilizations from a single neolithic city to (potentially) a modern industrialized nation. Along the way, players’ civilizations must contend with geography, food production, trade, international diplomacy, and war. Civilization III is not the most recent installment in the series, but its low cost and relatively modest system requirements make it a far better bet for classroom use than the most recent Civilization IV
How Can Civilization Be Used?
I. Examining the role of geography, resources, and technology in world history
The game provides a consistent theme of materialist history. The civilizations that have the earliest access to the most advantageous geography and richest resources stand the best chance of thriving. As such, Civilization III as a historical interpretation can be used as part of a larger investigation into the long term factors that cause successful imperial expansion and technological development.
II. Examining the role of religion within and between cultures
Civilization IV has included world religions in the mix and civilizations can now “invent” and/or adopt Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Christianity, and Islam. These religions are intentionally functionally equivalent in the game since the game designers wanted to avoid causing offense in the global community. It would be well worth while examining the function of religion in the game and evaluating the accuracy of the game’s religious systems based on historical evidence.
Civilization III is available for less than $10 through discount software vendors. It will run on Windows 95/98/Me/2000/XP operating systems running on a PII 500 MHZ machine with 32 MB RAM and a Direct X 8.0 video card (1024×768, 16-bit color).