The Telegraph has published an article two days ago, probably also related to Sid’s birthday, about his story and the experiences with Civilization. They talk about how Sid himself started up in gaming, the relationship to education, and development rules like the 1/3rd rule: 1/3rd keep, 1/3rd improve, 1/3rd new.
“Can Civ games – which feature numerous leaders from human history including Abraham Lincoln, Genghis Khan, Napoleon Bonaparte, Abu Bakr, and Mahatma Gandhi – serve an educational purpose? Meier, who studied history and computer science at the University of Michigan, likes to think so. He says that Civ may have even helped to “legitimise” gaming as an intellectual pursuit. “I mean, I’m remembering back 30 years ago, and it wasn’t considered all that good an idea to play games. People would say, ‘Oh you’re wasting your time playing those games, can’t you do something useful?’ But that has really turned around today, where I think it is a reputable and worthwhile use of time. It might even prepare you for a career in the wonderful world of the gaming industry, whether that’s as a designer, or an artist, or as a journalist.”
Meier is on a roll and becomes more animated. “Where parents used to think it was a waste of time for kids to play video games,” he says, “now they might think this is an opportunity for their son or daughter [to learn something]. Kids can amaze their parents with things that they know about Caesar, or Gandhi, or Genghis Khan.””
The full article is available here (but saldy behind a paywall).