13th Annual Games for Change Festival announced a partnership with GlassLab Inc., a nonprofit learning company, to bring a modified version of Sid Meier’s Civilization V to high schools in North America in the fall of 2017. Developed by Firaxis Games, Sid Meier’s Civilization V has sold-in more than 8 million units worldwide, was one of the most critically acclaimed PC games of 2010, and earned numerous awards and accolades. CivilizationEDU will provide students with the opportunity to think critically and create historical events, consider and evaluate the geographical ramifications of their economic and technological decisions, and to engage in systems thinking and experiment with the causal/correlative relationships between military, technology, political and socioeconomic development.
In addition, GlassLab Inc. will add a learning analytics engine to CivilizationEDU to capture students’ progress and assess their problem-solving skills – harnessing the popularity and innovation of interactive entertainment and turning it into a powerful tool for the classroom and alternative to standardized tests. Teachers who use CivilizationEDU will have access to an online dashboard that will provide reports on students’ progress, demonstrating how in-game accomplishments relate to problem solving; developer diaries; gameplay tutorial videos, and instructional resources, including an in-depth gameplay guide and lesson plans aligned to academic and 21st century standards.
“We are incredibly proud to lend one of our industry’s most beloved series to educators to use as a resource to inspire and engage students further,” said Strauss Zelnick, Chairman and CEO of Take-Two. “Civilization has challenged millions of people around the world to revisit and experience history, pursue boldly exploration, and create their own societies based on their passions and freedom of choice. I can’t think of a better interactive experience to help challenge and shape the minds of tomorrow’s leaders.”
“For the past 25 years, we’ve found that one of the fun secrets of Civilization is learning while you play,” added Sid Meier, Founder and Director of Creative Development at Firaxis Games. “We’ve always focused on entertainment first, but we believe that our players – young and old – enjoy learning, even if they don’t always enjoy education. Civilization players find fun in discovering new civilizations, running into famous historical leaders, and charting their own version of human history. Along the way, players learn valuable lessons from their success and failures and are able to try again, employing different choices and strategies. We’re absolutely thrilled to be partnering with GlassLab and I am excited to see CivilizationEDU in classrooms next year.”
“Education today too often focuses on what can be measured, rather than what young people need to know. CivilizationEDU is a perfect example of how games can be used to teach and assess key 21st century skills that are hard to measure on multiple-choice tests,” said Connie Yowell, CEO of Collective Shift and its global learning movement LRNG, which is merging with GlassLab. “We’re thrilled to offer CivilizationEDUas part of GlassLab’s collection of games for next generation learning. This beloved game is an important addition to the rich learning resources the LRNG ecosystem offers online, in classrooms, and through the communities that are participating in the LRNG Cities movement.”
“Video games are today’s most dynamic and compelling art form in the world, and its ability to captivate and engage audiences of all ages is unparalleled,” concluded Michael D. Gallagher, President and CEO, Entertainment Software Association. “Our industry defines the intersection of creativity and technology, and we are increasingly finding unique ways in which we can transcend entertainment to enhance our society for the long-term. The potential influence of CivilizationEDU in the American classroom is another illustration of that promise.”
CivilizationEDU will be available for download in 2017 from specialized partners Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, SMS Tech Solutions, Edmodo and Learning.com, in addition to other distributors.