Civilization IV is a PC game that allows the player to control a civilization from 4000 BC until the modern era.   The player needs to make decisions regarding resource management, diplomacy, technology research and civics in order to successfully guide the civilization into the modern era.  The game can also be modified to represent the world as closely as possible at a given point in history.


Faculty and students in political science, history, sociology and religion.


Instructor Led-Hands On


50-100 Minutes – In Class Time


  • Recognize the importance of various resources, technological advances and geographic location in historical events.
  • Understand and critique the advantages each of the civics presented in the game for the growth of the civilization.
  • Recognize and critique the argument presented by the game for the cause of conflicts throughout history focusing on resource scarcity, conflicting religions or civics, and population growth.
  • Conduct research on population trends, technology advances, role of religion, and the allocation of resources at various points in history.  (Advanced, for student mod creation projects)

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Professor Michael Fratantuono – “Globlaization, Sustainability, Security”

In this first year seminar, Professor Fratantuono had his students compare what they’d learned from “Guns, Germs, and Steel” and “Hot Flat and Crowded”  with their experience playing the game Civ IV.

Professor Ed Webb – “Empire”

In this International Studies course, Professor Webb instructed his students to play a historical mod of Civ IV that represents the western world in 1492.  Students took on the role of Spain and their first encounter with the Aztecs.  Students then compared their own actions and situation with history and used the ideas from “The Conquest of America: The Question of the Other” to discuss possible reasons for discrepancies.