At the end of all of the Civilization games, one of the classic winning endings is not to conquer the rest of the world or overawe the other civilizations with alliances and treaties; rather, it is to build a ship and send it to the stars. What would happen when that ship reaches its destination? In the Mid 1990’s, Sid Meier, creator of the Civilization franchise, explored that in Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri, a turn-based strategy game with a transhumanist narrative, contacting and, in one of the win conditions, joining with Planet. It is probably the biggest budget videogame to ever explore transhumanism and science fiction, and one of the few to meld an external narrative into a strategy game.
Now, Civilization: Beyond Earth treads into those waters again. Created by Firaxis, Beyond Earth takes the chassis of the Civilization V engine, with its one-unit-per-hex design, and transplants it onto an alien planet. [Read more…]