Islam and the Gaming Community (Part 2): Education through Immersion

https://books.google.com/books?id=UKBrAwAAQBAJ&pg=PA126&lpg=PA126&dq=civilization+islamic+culture+pc+game&source=bl&ots=zMRonIuNMm&sig=rTR4aldA01gh5xCEg14oaHFouqw&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CEsQ6AEwB2oVChMI-IuCqcypyAIVSxUeCh375Qx3#v=onepage&q=civilization%20islamic%20culture%20pc%20game&f=false

One of the ideas dominating modern gaming is that of Immersion, the degree to which a game can be engaging and realistic enough that it “takes” you wherever the story is. This initially took the form of better and better graphics as we moved on from 8-bit to the beautiful depictions used today. Another crucial aspect is the story behind the action which often includes drama and convoluted storylines to draw the player further in. I believe that this state of interacting with content would be the perfect platform from which people could be taught about Islam.

Currently the more common instance is that of Arabs and Muslims being the enemy to be destroyed but a few games have taken on the task of providing the user with a chance to play from the other end. While these cases are limited in number and scope they show the way forward. Perhaps the best example is Civilization 4, where one can control different civilizations and adopt Islam as a religion. The game itself includes an impressive encyclopaedia of information that players are often drawn into along the way. Right now religion acts as a tool to gain power within the game instead of a dynamic interaction between gamer and whatever religious mix his/her civilization is perusing but the first step has been taken. It is perfectly acceptable that one could play as an Arabian ruler that makes Islam his state religion and builds mosques.

Most players don’t even know what a mosque is and look it up within the game. This interaction is educational because the gamer actually needs to know about who he/she is playing to plan successfully and this opens up many opportunities for the future of gaming.

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Islam and the Gaming Community (Part 2): Education through Immersion

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