Akilah Beasley

College Composition 105 WISE

December 11, 2009

                     Self Assessment Essay: China Game Log

            During my first Semester at Clark Atlanta University I was able to enroll in a program called WISE; this program focuses heavily on improving writing skills and incorporating the use of technology in the classroom. The program makes both English and History courses parallel to each other. The English portion of the class encourages students to play games based on historic aspects and create pieces of writing summarizing what they’ve learned from playing that particular game. I was introduced to Sid Meier’s game Civilization IV. This game gave me the opportunity to build a successful civilization—I was not successful in doing so however. Although my play of the game Civilization IV was not a success, I was able to produce an amazing piece of writing which highlighted the flaws that my strategy was laced in.

            When I began playing Civilization IV I did not understand the game at all. I was unable to comprehend the game because computer games are something that I am not used to. I knew that my goal was to build a successful empire so I tried to compose a strategy that was similar to the ones that were used to build the Empires that I learned about in history class. The first thing I did was build my civilization near a water way; I choose to do this so that my citizens could have better agriculture and access to water. After building my cities I instantly began to build my military because I wanted to protect my people from any enemies and barbarians. As my military grew stronger I noticed that my people were unhappy; I tried to give them something to make them happy so I began to research Confucianism and I built Oracles, libraries, and Obelisks. As I adopted these new philosophies and buildings I noticed that China’s population flourished to two million people. I thought that this was a good thing but I was proven wrong when I noticed that my people were still unhappy; they felt that China’s population was too large and that the cities where too crowed. I thought about making more cities so that some of my people could move there to eliminate some of the clutter in the other cities; the thought left my mind when I realized that my existing cities weren’t doing well. I didn’t want to add more cities if I couldn’t handle the cities that I already had. I began to think of more ways to make my people happy; then I realized that I didn’t build farms in any of my cities because I was too focused on my military, religion, and culture. The lack of food made my people unhappy, sick, and it shorted their life expectancy. My plan may have started out good, but I failed to feed my people—this factor led to my downfall.

            Once I learned the results of my game and the reason for my Empire’s downfall, I felt like I had been defeated. I wanted to play another game of Civilization IV before I wrote my game log because I wanted my log to reflect prosperity in my Empire. I decided to transform my loss into a victory however, by highlighting the flaws of my plan and the lesson that I’ve learned from my flaws in my game log. I discussed the strategy that I used; I put emphasis on the errors that I made while constructing my Empire and I proposed alternative decisions that I could have made if I were thinking critically.

            This assignment helped me to realize that I can turn any negative situation into a positive one. It also showed me that I should consider thinking critically more often—the next time I decide to build a prosperous empire, I will be sure to feed my citizens first.