Monday, 23 July 2012

Week 2. Civilisation

The year is 4000 BC.  I found the city of Thebes in a strange land. I decide to study Pottery and the calendar so I can build Stonehenge. Nobody really knows who built Stonehenge but just imagine the Egyptian empire did. But how does this help me? Well this wonder increases my culture, causing the borders of my civilisation to expand. And there you have it, globalisation has begun.

Fast forward a few thousand years. Memphis and Heliopolis have also been founded, I’ve studied Mathematics, Philosophy, and Engineering and I’ve met Napoleon. My civilisation has expanded to the point where we are now neighbours. I choose to study optics and travel across the ocean. Perhaps the rumours of other lands are true.

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Fast forward to today. Those foreign lands were home to China, Denmark, and Russia. War has ravaged these lands this whole time and nuclear fallout is everywhere. However these civilisations have all been defeated by me, even though we were never at war. Rather, I defeated them through power of culture. My people have freedom, tradition, commerce, and happiness.

If you hadn’t realised yet, I was speaking of the computer game ‘Civilisation 5’, a personal favourite. The game is intended for entertainment, but it is also a study and a commentary on civilisation. On how it evolves, expands, and becomes global. The game is remarkably accurate to the world we live in. It shows how civilisations work together or fight for their own personal benefit. But in reality, they are interacting on such a scale where there individuality is no longer clear, and they become one world society. They globalise.


Alexander R. Galloway, 2006. Gaming: Essays On Algorithmic Culture (Electronic Mediations). 1 Edition. Univ Of Minnesota Press.
Steven, P 2003, ‘Political economy: the howling, brawling, global market place’, The no-nonsense guide to the global media, New Internationalist, Oxford, pp. 37–59.

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