Picture of Civilization IV and Bob Hone

What Bob Hone is Playing This Summer

When it’s summertime in Washington, DC, great activities include visiting parks and outdoor monuments, experiencing a Washington Nationals baseball game, and attending the Smithsonian Folklife Festival.

But when you want to beat the heat, summer is also a great time to catch up on some video games.

This summer American University Assistant Professor and Game Studio Manager Robert Hone is playing “Civilization VI,” which he calls a “great simulation-based game with an excellent creation engine and clever NPC (Non-Player Character) AIs.” The “Civilization” series, crafted by well-known Sid Meier, allows players to build empires—and to engage in an array of related adventures.

Fast Fact: More than 20 years ago, GameSpot put “Civilization IV” creator Sid Meier atop its list of “Most Influential People in Computer Gaming of All Time”Hone said his interest in and admiration for “Civilization” is partly due to the game’s excellent balance of short, medium, and long-term strategies and tactics. He references “Civilization VI” in his Games and Rhetoric class at AU when he lectures about creating multiple timescales of player strategies and game feedback.

When Hone was asked to analyzed and recommend improvements to the World Bank’s “Urgent Evoke” alternate reality game, he actually used “Civilization VI’s” timescales of UX/UI as a reference point. It helped him illustrate how “Urgent Evoke’s” focus on only long timescale accomplishment rewards is lacking.

“They need to improve ‘Urgent Evoke’s’ reward system for short-and-medium term player actions and accomplishments,” Hone said.

Learn About the Game Lab

Learn more about how professors and students from American University’s Game Lab are helping shape the way video games changes affect our world. Visit www.american.edu/gamelab today.

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