Firaxis' Civilization V is to become the first to feature a dedicated educational edition, in an effort to replicate the success of Microsoft-owned Mojang's Minecraft for in-school use.
Firaxis' parent company Take-Two Interactive has confirmed a partnership with non-profit educational specialist GlassLab Inc to produce a variant of Sid Meier's Civilization V strategy game for use in secondary schools. According to the companies, CivilizationEDU will differ from the retail release - which has racked up eight million sales since its launch in 2010 - by including a learning analytics engine which captures students' progress and assesses their problem-solving skills as they work 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.'
The information gathered by the integrated analytics engine will be provided to teachers on a web-based dashboard, which generates progress reports, demonstrates how in-game accomplishments relate to problem solving skills; and provide access to instructional resources, lesson plans, tutorial videos, and an in-depth gameplay guide.
'For the past 25 years, we’ve found that one of the fun secrets of Civilization is learning while you play,' claimed Sid Meier of his creation. '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.'
CivilizationEDU is to launch in the US in 2017 as a downloadable title, with pricing and international availability yet to be confirmed.