These are the tasks our students will be working on in the coming week:
1. When a game in Civilization is won or lost, the player has the choice to either end the game or “one more turn”. Which qualities or attributes of games is it that make them addictive? Can other media like movies or books be equally addictive, or is this phenomenon unique to games? Make use of current news stories or research on this topic in your texts.
2. What can be learned from games? Many young people and adults spend a considerable amount of hours playing games. Are these hours spent purely for entertainment/a waste of time, or are there other benefits that can be had from play? Use examples from your own experience with Civilization IV and/or other games you have played. Make use of current news stories or research on this topic in your texts.
3. Games and Gender. Do video games have a particular appeal to boys? What are the differences and similarities in typical gaming habits of males and females? What are typical “boy games” and “girl games”? Make use of current news stories or research on this topic in your texts.
We expect to publish this round of student texts on Monday April 14th.
Other areas that will be covered/discussed:
- Influence/authority in international relations – Students are expected to understand how military, financial and idealogical authority is used in the interaction between nations. We will look at real-world examples and examine how these concepts can be illustrated in Civilization 4.
- Vocabulary work – Students come across a whole range of terms and phrases that are unfamiliar to them in Civilization 4. One doesn´t necessarily need a complete understanding of these to succeed in the game, but when my students discuss making the switch to from despotism to hereditary rule, or decide whether to research feudalism or code of laws, I want them to know what these concepts entail.
- Meetings between early colonists and aboriginal populations – At some point in their games, students will come across a situation where they will encounter a civilization which is technologically vastly superior or vastly inferior to them. We will discuss the outcomes of these meetings in game, and explore whether these are analogous to real-world meetings between European colonists and the indigenous peoples of English speaking countries like the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.