Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2008


Sid Meier’s Civilization IV, a popular computer game, gives players god-like powers over a civilization. They player can conquer the world through military obliteration, cultural dominance or clever diplomacy and peaceful means. Implicit in the game are theories of how civilizations function; these theories are implemented as game mechanics. The field of history seeks to document and interpret the major events of our world, but the complexity of these events often prevents historians from making conclusive statements about causality or patterns. Nonetheless, scholars are currently trying to form scientific theories about the patterns observed in history. This paper will consider several theories on the nature of history and compare them to the mechanics of Civilization IV.