I did not realize this until I read the blog but the PC game Civilization has been around for nearly 20 years with its latest installment, Civilization V, being released next week. I have played a couple versions that have come out throughout the years, especially the last version which was released in 2005. As a fan of history these games are fantastic and entertaining. Although geared toward enjoyment you can surprisingly learn a lot about world history and how certain peoples lived and built up their culture.
If you have never played the game you start by selecting a civilization you want to play. It can range from most European countries, the United States, China, India, and many more. As that civilization you start in the year 4000 BC with some great leader and build up towns, supplies, and armies as the years move on. Your civilization will discovery things such as electricity, capitalism, gunpowder. As these elements are discovered you can incorporate them into your peoples everyday living. You battle rival civilizations you invade your land or from a desire to expand your territory. Your goal depends on the type of game you play but usually it involves being the greatest civilizations by the modern era.
I highly recommend clicking on the link below and reading the article on the various versions of Civilizations produced throughout the years. As a fan of history I suggest going out and buying the newest installment, Civilization V. You will have a lot of fun playing this game and learning a little about history along the way. I believe it could be a great tool for students to play and then write a reflection paper on what they learned.