Using social media posts on sites such as Reddit and You Tube, I analyze how players think about the history embedded in Civilization, an immensely popular computer game. I find that most players are males who started playing the game as children or adolescents. Most posters express little interest in history, but those that do often credit Civilization with sparking a lifelong passion for history. These players develop what I call an “immersive critique.” They enjoy playing the game even as they readily articulate its flaws.
What Do Players Learn from Videogames?: Historical Analysis and Sid Meier’s Civilization
John Majewski is a professor of history at UC Santa Barbara whose teaching and research focuses on the US Civil War during those odd moments he is not playing videogames.
The author is exceedingly grateful to Lisa Jacobson, Sam Majewski, Sarah Case, and three anonymous referees for exceedingly helpful critiques and edits.
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John Majewski; What Do Players Learn from Videogames?: Historical Analysis and Sid Meier’s Civilization. The Public Historian 1 February 2021; 43 (1): 62–81. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/tph.2021.43.1.62
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