science

Civ V Tesla Coil

As I discussed in my previous article, the idea that there is a direct, linear relationship between science and technology, also known as the “assembly line” model favored by policymakers (Kline, 1995), though often taken for granted in videogame mechanics, doesn’t stand up to even a passing glance at history.Continue Reading

Wise Men Discovere Engineering

Science is a fairly significant element in strategy games. Some, like Civilization, even feature a “Science Victory” as one means of winning, making science not just a means to an end, but an end in itself. In pretty much any game with a central tech tree mechanic, investing in scienceContinue Reading

For my birthday this past October, my girlfriend bought me a copy of Skyrim for XBox.  For those not familiar, Skyrim is the latest installment of the ‘Elder Scrolls’ series of open-world role playing games set in a Dungeons and Dragons-informed mythic backdrop.  It’s a standard RPG, where the playerContinue Reading

I think historians and sociologists of science might be surprised to learn that video game designers spend a considerable amount of time and energy building playable models of the history of science and technology. In game design circles these systems are commonly referred to as “Technology Trees”. Below is an example of one of these trees from Civilization ll.Continue Reading