Developer Firaxis Games is looking to amp that up by bringing an explicitly educational version of the game, CivilizationEDU, to North American high schools.

Nonprofit learning company GlassLab Inc., in collaboration with Firaxis Games and Take-Two Interactive Software, is adding a “learning analytics engine” to Civilization to capture and assess students’ progress and problem-solving skills. The goal is to engage students in critical thinking, and experiment with the “casual/correlative relationships between military, technology, political, and socioeconomic development.”

Teachers will have access to an online component that provides reports on student progress, developer diaries, gameplay tutorials, instructional resources, and lesson plans.

“For the past 25 years, we’ve found that one of the fun secrets of Civilization is learning while you play,” Sid Meier, founder and director of creative development at Firaxis Games, said. “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.”

The hope is that CivilizationEDU will prove “how games can be used to teach and assess key 21st century skills that are hard to measure on multiple choice tests,” Connie Yowell, CEO of Collective Shift and global learning movement LRNG, said.

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